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Nine people who attended President Donald Trump’s September 18 rally in an airport hangar in Bemidji, Minnesota have contracted the coronavirus, according to state health officials in a report by the Minnesota Public Radio News.
Of the nine people, two have been hospitalized, including one who is now in an intensive care unit. Two other coronavirus cases have also been linked to a counter-protest held in response to the rally, according to a report by Politico.
There have been no reported deaths yet.
According to Minnesota’s Department of Health spokesperson, Doug Schultz, in an email to Politico, while the department can’t confirm that the group of infections was caused by the event, the confirmed-positive people attended the rally during their likely time of exposure.
In response to these new infections, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party released a statement criticizing both Trump and the state’s Republican party.
“From the start of this pandemic, Donald Trump and Minnesota Republicans have ignored public health experts and put their re-elections ahead of the health of Minnesotans,” DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said in the statement. “It was only a matter of time until the dangerous, maskless campaign events staged by Donald Trump and Minnesota Republicans landed Minnesotans in the hospital.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign also slammed Trump for the rally and its subsequent coronavirus cases.
“Donald Trump has utterly failed in that duty, lying about this deadly threat to the American people from the very beginning while mismanaging the response — and willingly exposing his own supporters to the pandemic for his own optical gratification,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said, according to a report by Politico.
However, the Trump campaign does not believe that the rally was the absolute source of these infections.
“Tying these cases to an outdoor event that occurred three weeks ago, where hand sanitizer and face masks were supplied, is a stretch,” Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh told Politico.
Several months ago, Trump’s indoor Tulsa, Oklahoma rally, and the respective counter-protests were likely linked to a spike of almost 500 coronavirus cases in the area, according to a press conference with Tulsa City-County health department director Dr. Bruce Dart, ABC News reported.
More recently, an outdoor Supreme Court nomination ceremony for Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House Rose Garden became a “superspreader” event after 34 people tested positive for the coronavirus following the event, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Trump, who also recently tested positive for the virus, will be holding his next rally in Sanford, Florida on October 12.
SEE ALSO: Minnesota Trump supporters say they’re not concerned about getting sick after attending Trump’s rally and fundraiser just days before he tested positive
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Source:: Business Insider