Trump defended his indoor rally in Nevada by saying he was far away from the crowd and thus not afraid of getting the virus.
Donald Trump defended his decision to defy coronavirus mitigation orders in order to hold a packed indoor rally in Henderson, Nevada, on Sunday night, saying that he was far away from the thousands of maskless attendees who were defying social distancing orders.
"I'm on a stage, and it's very far away," Trump said in an interview with a reporter from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "And so I'm not at all concerned."
Trump expressed no concern in the interview for the thousands of his supporters who defied all social distancing orders to pack into the indoor rally, most of them not wearing masks, putting themselves at risk of contracting the deadly virus, which has to date killed 193,950 people in the United States.
Trump himself knows that the coronavirus is easily transmitted when people are gathered closely together indoors.
He admitted as much back in February in an interview with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward.
"You just breathe the air, and that's how it's passed," Trump told Woodward at the time, despite publicly downplaying the threat of the virus. "And so that's a very tricky one. That's a very delicate one. It's also more deadly than even your strenuous flus."
Ahead of Trump's rally, Nevada Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak slammed him for defying the state's order to have indoor gatherings of no more than 50 people, with all people properly socially distanced and wearing masks, saying Trump's rally was "an insult to every Nevadan who has followed the directives, made sacrifices, and put their neighbors before themselves."
"Tonight, President Donald Trump is taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada," Sisolak tweeted, adding that Trump, "came into our State and blatantly disregarded the emergency directives and tough choices made to fight this pandemic and begin reopening our economy by hosting an indoor gathering that’s categorized as 'high risk' according to his own CDC."
This is not the first time Trump has violated his own administration's guidance for stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
In June, he held an indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where mas-less attendees gathered indoors.
Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain attended that rally without a mask and died a few weeks later of the coronavirus.
The Trump campaign has defended the rally, with Trump campaign spokesperson Erin Perrine telling Fox News that people have the "choice to join us in person or join us online."
However, it's still possible for people to get the virus at large events and then spread it to those who chose not to attend.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.