Health

Trump Rallies Linked To Increased COVID-19 Infections And Deaths, Analyses Find

“The communities in which Trump rallies took place paid a high price in terms of disease and death.”

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Green Bay-Austin Straubel International Airport on October 30, 2020 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. | Getty Images
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Green Bay-Austin Straubel International Airport on October 30, 2020 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. | Getty Images

Multiple studies and analyses have linked President Trump’s re-election campaign rallies in recent months with increased COVID-19 cases and deaths.

A study released Friday by Stanford University economists examined 18 Trump rallies held between June 20 and September 30 and compared COVID-19 data in host counties with that of counties that didn’t hold rallies. The study concluded that rallies resulted in more than 30,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 700 deaths, though it specified the deaths were not necessarily among rally attendees.

“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 economists wrote in their conclusion. “The communities in which Trump rallies took place paid a high price in terms of disease and death.”

Following the study’s release, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden issued a statement to multiple outlets saying Trump is “costing hundreds of lives and sparking thousands of cases with super spreader rallies that only serve his own ego.”

A recent CNN analysis found that 82% of 17 counties that hosted Trump rallies between August and September saw an increased rate of new cases one month later. 

Another analysis by the Center for American Progress found that a spike in cases followed about half of 22 Trump rallies held between June and September, “suggesting the events may have led to community spread.”

Trump has faced criticism from public health experts for holding events that forgo guidelines meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including many in-person rallies where he and his supporters have not worn masks.

Trump rallies have been dangerous to his supporters in more ways than one. Last week, rally goers were stranded for hours in freezing cold weather after attending a Trump rally in Omaha, Nebraska. Transportation problems led to the fraught circumstances, and similar scenarios happened again twice over the weekend in Butler, Pennsylvania and Rome, Georgia.