President Donald Trump said he is not afraid of contracting the novel coronavirus at his indoor campaign rallies, where public health guidelines to limit the spread of the disease are loosely followed, if at all.
In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the president dismissed concerns about potentially spreading the disease with indoor rallies, which epidemiologists have warned could serve as super spreader events.
“I’m on a stage and it’s very far away,” Trump said. “And so I’m not at all concerned.”
Trump on Sunday held his first indoor rally in nearly three months in Henderson, Nevada, at a facility run by construction equipment company, Xtreme Manufacturing.
While Trump stood by himself on a stage, thousands of his supporters — many without masks — were packed closely together for several hours.
The event flouted Gov. Steve Sisolak’s executive order limiting gatherings in Nevada to 50 people. It also ignored his own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance that people can avoid getting sick by wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance.
Sisolak denounced the Trump campaign’s decision to host the event as “shameful, dangerous and irresponsible.”
Despite reports from his own White House, despite local officials in Southern & Northern Nevada reiterating to the venues the existing restrictions in State emergency directives, tonight, the President is knowingly packing thousands into an indoor venue to hold a political rally.
— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) September 14, 2020
But Trump’s team defended the move in a vile statement.
“If you can join tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets, gamble in a casino, or burn down small businesses in riots, you can gather peacefully under the 1st Amendment to hear from the president of the United States,” spokesman Tim Murtaugh said in a statement.