Nine people who attended Trump's rally in Minnesota have contracted coronavirus
- Nine people who attended President
Donald Trump's September 18 rally in Bemidji, Minnesotahave contracted the coronavirus, according to state health officials.
- Of those nine, two have been hospitalized with one currently in an intensive care unit.
- Minnesota Department of Health spokesperson Erin McHenry told Insider in an email that while the department can't confirm that the infections were contracted at the rally, the event appears a "likely" driver "of increases in
- The event and the subsequent coronavirus cases have been slammed by former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign and Democrats in the state.
Nine people who attended President Donald Trump's September 18 rally in an airport hangar in Bemidji, Minnesota have contracted the coronavirus, according to state health officials.
Of the nine people, two have been hospitalized, including one who is now in an intensive care unit. Two other coronavirus cases have also been linked to a counter-protest held in response to the rally the same day, the Minnesota Department of Health told Insider in an email on Saturday.
There have been no reported deaths yet.
According to MDH spokesperson Erin McHenry, while the health department can't definitively confirm that the group of infections was contracted at Trump's event, the confirmed-positive people attended his rally during their likely time of exposure, and the event appears, "based on case characteristics," to be a likely driver "of increases in COVID-19 cases" in the Bemidji area.
In response to these new infections, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party released a statement criticizing both Trump and the state's Republican party.
"From the start of this pandemic, Donald Trump and Minnesota Republicans have ignored public health experts and put their re-elections ahead of the health of Minnesotans," DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said in the statement. "It was only a matter of time until the dangerous, maskless campaign events staged by Donald Trump and Minnesota Republicans landed Minnesotans in the hospital."
Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign also slammed Trump for the rally and its subsequent coronavirus cases.
"Donald Trump has utterly failed in that duty, lying about this deadly threat to the American people from the very beginning while mismanaging the response — and willingly exposing his own supporters to the pandemic for his own optical gratification," Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said, according to a report by Politico.
The Trump campaign does not believe that the rally was the source of these infections.
"Tying these cases to an outdoor event that occurred three weeks ago, where hand sanitizer and face masks were supplied, is a stretch," Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh told Politico.
But the reality is that it can take anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus for an infection to develop. Often, the incubation period for the coronavirus is about a week, and the worst days of the illness occur two weeks after that, which means the timing with the rally could be pretty spot on.
In June, Trump's indoor Tulsa, Oklahoma rally, and its respective counter-protests were likely linked to a spike of almost 500 coronavirus cases in the area, according to a press conference with Tulsa City-County health department director Dr. Bruce Dart, ABC News reported.
Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain died of COVID-19 in July, testing positive for the virus 11 days after he went maskless at that rally.
More recently, an outdoor Supreme Court nomination ceremony for Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House Rose Garden became a "superspreader" event after 34 people tested positive for the coronavirus following the event, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Trump, who was recently hospitalized with the virus, is planning to hold three more in-person rallies between October 12 and 14: in Sanford, Florida on Monday, Johnstown, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, and then Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday.
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