Washington-President Donald Trump relaunched his election campaign Sunday with a live television event inside the iconic Lincoln Memorial, promising an early coronavirus vaccine and urging Americans to put the pandemic behind them to embrace an “incredible” future.

With the two-hour long Fox News “town hall,” Trump sought to wrap himself in the mantle of America’s arguably greatest president -- and to persuade a nation battered by death and mass unemployment to look ahead.

“We can’t stay closed as a country, we’re not going to have a country left,” he said on the show, where two moderators, as well as ordinary citizens via video, put questions to him in front of the monument.

“We’re going to have an incredible following year,” he said.

To a woman who called in expressing fear of financial ruin and eviction, Trump said her job would come back.

“You get a job where you make more money,” he said.

Saying Americans should start going back to beaches this summer and recommending that shuttered schools need to reopen in September, Trump forecast good news on the hunt for a vaccine.

“We are very confident that we’re going to have a vaccine... by the end of the year,” he said, admitting he was getting ahead of his own advisors with the prediction. “I’ll say what I think,” he said.

- Saving his

reelection -

The businessman Republican is doing poorly in most polls ahead of the November presidential contest against Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who remains shuttered in his Delaware home. Trump faces criticism for his bruising, divisive style during a time of national calamity. He is also accused by some of botching the early response to the COVID-19 virus.

Worse, the previously booming US economy, which was seen as a golden ticket to his second term, is now in dire straits due to the nationwide lockdown.

With officials saying the viral spread has begun to taper, Trump is itching to return to the campaign trail.

However he faces new criticism that he is trying to declare premature victory, even as the illness continues to kill thousands of Americans every week.