Trump Holds Wisconsin Rally After His Covid Task Force Warns Of ‘Preventable Deaths’
President Trump plans to throw what promises to be a crowded rally in Janesville, Wisconsin on Saturday even after a report from the White House coronavirus task force explicitly recommended against such events in the state amid a surge of coronavirus cases.
DES MOINES, IOWA – OCTOBER 14: President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Des … [+]
In a private report sent by the White House to governors, obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, the task force recommends “avoiding crowds in public” in Wisconsin, as well as mask-wearing and social distancing.
The report, which says Wisconsin is “in the red zone for cases,” warns that not following such measures “will lead to preventable deaths.”
Wisconsin has faced the 4th highest case increase of any state, with 4,172 new cases reported on Friday and 20 new deaths – 29% and 71% increases respectively over the last 14 days – according to the New York Times.
Trump has long flouted best practices when it comes to campaigning during the pandemic, but it’s been especially pronounced since he recovered from his own infection, with him talking about how he could now kiss attendees with no public health consequences.
While the Trump campaign has begun mandating masks at events – and has said it will maintain that measure in Janesville – Trump’s supporters are often seen at rallies packed tightly together with few masks between them.
Forbes has reached out to the Trump campaign for comment.
“That’s beautiful, wow,” Trump said of the fact that two centenarians – a 100-year-old and a 105-year-old, both veterans – attended his rally in Ocala, Florida on Friday, despite the fact that the virus disproportionately impacts the elderly. Trump had noted the size of the crowd at that rally, which featured scant mask-wearing and no social distancing, remarking, “can you believe how many people are back there?”
“Wisconsin is in the grips of one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the country,” Democratic candidate Joe Biden said in a statement. “We have lost far too many lives to this pandemic — and the sad fact is, it didn’t have to be this way. President Trump is knowingly downplaying the severity of the virus.”
In lieu of massive rallies, Biden’s has found creative ways to enforce social distancing and avoid the spread of the virus at events. During a trip to Michigan on Friday, Biden, flanked by vintage corvettes, spoke at a drive-in rally at which most supporters sat in their cars and honked for applause.
63%. That’s the share of voters who said in a CNN poll released earlier this month that Trump acted irresponsibly in managing the risk of Covid infection to those around him. AP-NORC found Biden is trusted over Trump by a wide margin on coronavirus – 52% to 28% – while 67% of Americans in a Gallup poll said coronavirus is among the most important issues in the election.