Michigan Democrats concerned about COVID-19 spreading at Trump Rally
President Trump’s campaign rallies are drawing thousands of supporters
FREELAND, Mich. (WJRT) - President Trump’s campaign rallies are drawing thousands of supporters like at MBS International Airport in Saginaw County.
That’s making some local leaders worried Thursday night’s large-scale rally might accelerate the spread of COVID-19.
The state will be keeping a close eye on Saginaw County, hoping this doesn’t start to move the state in the wrong direction.
It was Trump’s first campaign rally in Michigan in the year 2020, bringing together a crowd of thousands to MBS International Airport in Freeland.
Trump has called his rallies “peaceful protests” where people are exercising their First Amendment rights.
Even so, local leaders like Governor Gretchen Whitmer are concerned.
“If the rallies are like those he’s held in recent days in other states, there’ll be lots of people close together without masks on, projecting their voices, and I’m concerned about it, and this is not a partisan observation. We are in a public health crisis," Governor Gretchen Whitmer said during a press conference on Thursday morning.
During the rally, there was minimal social distancing, and many people were not wearing a mask.
Whitmer says they’ll be watching Saginaw County very closely for the numbers of COVID-19, but that wasn’t the only concern.
Trump is taking heat from a new book by Bob Woodward that quotes Trump downplaying the coronavirus publicly when he admitted knowing how deadly it was.
“He knew that coronavirus was deadly. He knew that it spread quickly. He understood the risks, and by his own admission, he tried to minimize those risks. That caused many Americans to die that didn’t have to, so his visit comes at a very important time where the President has some explaining to do," Congressman Dan Kildee said during a phone interview with ABC12.
Trump defended himself, saying he limited travel from China, where the virus is believed to have started. The White House says he wanted to remain calm and not create panic among the American people.
Governor Whitmer taking issue with that too, saying today the biggest threat to the American people is the American President, and she’s hoping his rally won’t cost any Michigander their life.
“I think this failure to act has cost so many lives. It has sent our economy into a tailspin, and I’ll say it’s just devastating to hear that when we’ve been working so hard to save lives," Whitmer said on Thursday morning.
President Trump has plans for a similar rally inside an airport hangar this weekend in Nevada, but officials in the Reno area have said such an event would violate state laws and directives. State leaders say they’re concerned about the spread of COVID-19.
Stay with ABC12 News to see if that rally still happens.
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