President Donald Trump spoke to thousands of his supporters in an indoor Nevada venue this Sunday, despite the Governor and his own administration’s numerous health and safety procedures put in place to avoid gatherings of this size. Trump has been hosting a series of outdoor rallies within the past few months in order to keep his campaign going in the midst of a global health crisis, however, this weekend’s most recent event showed just how seriously Trump and his administration are actually handling this pandemic.
The event was in Henderson, Nevada, inside a facility of Xtreme Manufacturing, and as it was being planned government officials predicted it would be violating the state’s restriction on gatherings of more than 50 people. Trump has already received major backlash for his administration’s mishandling of the pandemic, and as the death toll in the US hits nearly 200,000, an indoor rally of more than 6,000 individuals shows that Trump isn’t exactly listening to his country’s thousands of healthcare providers.
This also isn’t the first indoor rally that Trump has hosted during the pandemic that’s led to some major controversy, and even worse, and increase in case numbers. Back in June Trump hosted a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which made headlines for its underwhelming attendance. However, two weeks after that rally the city of Tulsa saw a massive spike in coronavirus cases. The cases were able to be directly linked to the rally after multiple campaign staffers and Secret Service agents tested positive as well.
About 6,200 individuals attended the rally this past Sunday, and while that number may seem staggering to those of us who have been quarantine, the attendance was actually projected to be much larger; Trump blamed the “low” number of supporters on “radical protesters and intense backlash from the media,” regarding hosting a large gathering in the middle of a pandemic.
The City of Henderson warned the Xtreme Manufacturing venue ahead of the rally that they would be violating numerous state and nationwide regulations if they chose to host the event. Spokesperson Kathleen Richards recently spoke with the media about the preliminary warnings they tried to issue to get the event cancelled.
“The City of Henderson has issued a compliance letter and verbal warning to the event organizer that the event planned would be in direct violation of the state’s Covid-19 emergency directives.”
Large live events must also now be pre-approved by the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, however, the city never received notice that this rally was approved prior to it occuring. This could potentially lead to Xtreme Manufacturing losing their business license. When questioned about this rally before its occurrence, the Trump administration remained relatively general with all their answers.
They claimed that every attendee would get their temperature checked and would be provided a mask that they would only be encouraged to wear. However, when one checks Xtreme Manufacturing’s website, their Covid-19 restrictions seem even stricter than the state’s: “We have restricted meetings and gatherings to no more than 10 people in large areas, and when possible, to attend meetings by telephone or video conferencing.”
No spokesperson working for the company/venue has offered any sort of explanation regarding the rally yet. However, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolat took to Twitter to blast the president for his irresponsibility regarding this event.
“Trump’s reckless and selfish actions are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada. The rally is an insult to every Nevadan who has followed the directives, made sacrifices, and put their neighbors before themselves.”
Other members of Joe Biden’s administration also called out Trump for his lack of plan to fix the pandemic, and lack of acknowledgement that it’s actually as serious as it is. Other locations that previously were planning on hosting Trump rallies in the future have since cancelled due to state limitations on crowd sizes.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.