At least 30,000 people have been infected with the corona virus, at the election rallies of US President Donald Trump. A group of economists from the prestigious Stanford University calculated this. At least 700 people have died as a result. But Trump does not intend to slow down in the final sprint to the election, and will attend ten such meetings on Sunday and Monday.
The team led by the American professor B. Douglas Bernheim studied 18 rallies organized by the Trump campaign, between June 20 and September 12, 2020. Three rallies took place in a covered area. Journalists noted how people crowded together to listen to President Trump. Hardly anyone initially wore a mouth mask. “That improved at later meetings,” the scientists noted.
In the ‘counties’ where the meetings were organized, the number of people who became infected with the virus increased significantly in the following weeks. According to the economists, the number of infections rose to an average of 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. This increase was noticeably higher than in the surrounding cities and towns. The team compared those figures with the number of infections in 200 other, comparable counties.
According to the scientists, the meetings resulted in more than 30,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and more than 700 likely deaths.
Trump is picking up pace
Trump has held 36 more of those rallies since the study ended. The president is even speeding up the pace. In the last two days, he plans to organize ten more campaign rallies, in states where he still hopes to win a victory. On Sundays he travels to Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. On Monday he is in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Speech from the car
Opponent Joe Biden, on the other hand, visits far fewer states. He focuses on Pennsylvania, sticking to small-scale meetings. For example, attendees often have to follow the speeches from their car. Biden already lashed out at his opponent: “President Trump doesn’t care about you. He doesn’t even care about his own supporters ”.
“Why is he so obsessed with large crowds?” Posited former president Barack Obama, who is campaigning with Biden. “He is still wondering whether there were a lot of people at his inauguration or not. That was four years ago! What trauma did he suffer? Did nobody come to his birthday parties as a child? ”