He's going against the advice of his own coronavirus task force, as usual.
Donald Trump will hold another campaign rally in Wisconsin on Saturday, despite his administration's own coronavirus task force urging the state's residents to avoid large crowds.
Trump plans to deliver "remarks on supporting law enforcement" at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville on Saturday evening.
Doors will open three hours before the event, which will give attendees plenty of time to spread the coronavirus.
That is a concern, given that cases are spiking in the state. On Thursday, Wisconsin saw 3,747 new cases — the largest number to date, and nearly three times as many as a month ago. Wisconsin also has one of the highest per capital infection rates of any state in the country.
Trump's own coronavirus task force warned Sunday that Wisconsin residents must take steps like "mask wearing, physical distancing, hand hygiene, [and] avoiding crowds in public and social gatherings in private."
"Wisconsin's ability to limit further and avoid increases in hospitalizations and deaths will depend on increased observation of social distancing mitigation measures by the community until cases decline," they wrote in an Oct. 11 report. "Lack of compliance with these measures will lead to preventable deaths."
In an email, Trump campaign deputy national press secretary Courtney Parella wrote: "We take strong precautions for our campaign events. Every attendee has their temperature checked, is provided a mask they’re instructed to wear, and has access to plenty of hand sanitizer. We also have signs at our events instructing attendees to wear their masks."
But Trump rally attendees have often done the exact opposite, ignoring social distancing and refusing to wear face masks. While the Trump campaign has claimed to always follow safety guidelines, it has previously flouted them — even when it violates local and state law.
To make matters worse, Trump has falsely suggested that wearing a mask could be harmful. On Thursday, Trump repeated a patently false claim that 85% of people wearing masks get COVID-19.
Public health experts have urged mask usage as one of the most effective ways to curb the pandemic's spread.
Trump has targeted Wisconsin because he needs its 10 electoral votes. He narrowly won the state in 2016, by less than 1%. But recent polls show him trailing Biden by more than six points, on average.
Biden has been ahead in every major poll of the state for nearly two months and a New York Times/Siena College poll released this week showed Biden up 51% to 41%.
To date, Wisconsin has seen more than 162,000 coronavirus cases and at least 1,553 deaths.
During the presidential campaign, Trump has frequently mocked former Vice President Joe Biden for setting a good example by wearing a mask at public campaign events.
"I don't wear a mask like him," Trump said at the Sept. 29 presidential debate. "Every time you see him he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen."
Two days later, Trump announced in a tweet that he and Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.