Loading the player…
Many have suspected that President Donald Trump‘s large campaign events were contributing to the spread of coronavirus across the country.
Turns out that’s just the case, based on information found in a new study linking COVID-19 infections and deaths to events on the campaign trail.
Researchers at Stanford University released a new study Friday showing that clusters of COVID-19 outbreaks in some states involved Trump’s rallies, where thousands have gathered, many going maskless, to cheer on the president ahead of Tuesday’s election.
The working paper concludes that more than 30,000 positive coronavirus cases and 700 deaths can be traced back to people who gathered at 18 different rallies during the pandemic, including an indoor event in Tulsa, Oklahoma in June and a September rally in Duluth, Michigan. It is not clear if the infections were transmitted at said rallies.
According to one of the paper’s writers, Stanford’s economics department chair B. Douglas Bernheim, the study compared the areas that the rallies took place next to areas of the country where rallies were not happening. The findings are based on the fact that Trump has skirted many coronavirus prevention guidelines during his rallies, refusing to enforce that attendees wear masks or to acknowledge social distancing protocols.
“Our analysis strongly supports the warnings and recommendations of public health officials concerning the risk of COVID-19 transmission at large group gatherings, particularly when the degree of compliance with guidelines concerning the use of masks and social distancing is low,” the report concluded. “The communities in which Trump rallies took place paid a high price in terms of disease and death.”
Trump’s campaign spokesperson Courtney Parella maintains that numerous precautions are being taken at each of the rallies, as reported by Politico. He says hand sanitizer is provided and attendees’ temperatures are taken.
As far as the large gatherings, Parella stands firm that it’s a first amendment issue.
“Americans have the right to gather under the First Amendment to hear from the President of the United States, and we take strong precautions for our campaign events,” Parella said.
However, as previously reported by theGrio, the Trump campaign is ignoring many of the guidelines. Members of the Trump campaign were captured removing several social distancing signs on chairs in Tulsa’s BOK Center prior to his June 21 rally, allowing people to sit next to each other rather than sitting with at least six feet between attendees.
It was at that Tulsa rally that businessman and once-Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain attended, shortly before dying from COVID-19 complications.
According to Cain’s official Twitter page, he tested positive for coronavirus on June 29, only eight days after attending Trump’s rally. He was hospitalized days later and died on July 30.
Loading the player…
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!