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Ingham County Health Officer worries Trump rally will increase COVID-19 cases

Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 9:57 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Thousands turned out at Capital Region International Airport to hear from President Trump just days ahead of the general election.

President Trump’s campaign made a stop in Michigan; one of the key states for both candidates, and a state that is seeing a recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail hopes that President Trump’s Tuesday Mid-Michigan rally doesn’t turn into a super spreader event.

“The president also is rather reckless with regard to - with regard to COVID and COVID precautions that are recommended broadly across the public health community as well as the scientific community,” Vail said.

Vail says seeing the huge crowd at the rally was concerning.

“With clearly a crowd of people with- generally does not support mask wearing and it is concerning. Obviously, deeply concerning," said Vail. “We are looking at a higher level of transmission then we were looking at June. I don’t even-sometimes I feel like I don’t even have words for it. It was very disappointing.”

Officer Vail can’t confirm if the rally was a COVID-19 super spreader event. But, she says there have been notable increase of coronavirus cases at past rallies.

“Wherever he was in Wisconsin recently saw a 20 percent increase in cases after that rally,” she said. "Many of the places he’s been and where he’s going are red states with very active or imminent outbreaks related to what’s going on in that state and it is the time to be cautious, not reckless, and that’s not what we’re seeing.”

President Trump did make positive remarks on how the 2020 presidential campaign rallies have been the biggest they have ever been.

He also touched on why there has been an uptick in coronavirus cases. Here’s what President Trump had to say:

“Because we test more. So we go around... and by the way, we’re testing very young people too. We’re testing people in school, we’re testing everybody. In many ways, I hate it,” said President Trump.

"But, overall it’s good to have the testing. We find out where it is and there are a lot of things. But they use it to make us look bad. But, here’s the story. It’s COVID, COVID, COVID. You can’t watch anything else. On November 4, you won’t be hearing so much about it.”

Officer Vail says a week to two weeks from now, she will be able to tell if there was a spike in cases from the rally.

The president told rallygoers in both Michigan and Wisconsin that their Democratic governors needed to open up their states; he also called Governor Whitmer and her coronavirus response a “disaster.”

The president rounded out his day of campaigning with a rally in Nebraska.

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