Michigan well being staff criticize Trump's rally amid report Covid circumstances


U.S. President Donald Trump holds a rally in Gastonia, North Carolina, USA on October 21, 2020.

Tom Brenner | Reuters

A group of Michigan health workers denounced President Donald Trump's planned rally in Lansing Tuesday, while new coronavirus cases were recorded daily, saying it "threatens to make the situation worse".

Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden travel to states in the United States to attract voters with just one week left until the November 3rd election. Their approaches have been different, however, as Trump hosted large, overcrowded rallies compared to Biden's drive-in events that went against the advice of his best coronavirus advisors.

"It's a choice between a Trump boom or a Biden lockdown, but you are already locked," Trump told a crowd in Lansing, Michigan. "It's a choice between our plan to kill the virus or Biden's plan to kill the American dream."

Trump, who was hospitalized with the coronavirus earlier this month and has since recovered, has downplayed the White House outbreak as well as his own infection. His son Barron, who also tested positive, recovered in "about 12 minutes," Trump said.

"Young children have very strong immune systems, nobody knew," said Trump. "Take your kids back to school." While young adults are less likely to get seriously ill and be hospitalized or die of Covid-19, they can still transmit the virus to older adults at risk, experts warn.

Michigan was among the 16 states to report new Covid-19 cases at record highs every day on Monday, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, which uses a weekly average to smooth out fluctuations in daily coverage. The state now reports around 2,220 new cases every day, up 22% from a week ago.

"Covid-19 is not going away. Trump's rally in Lansing only threatens to get worse," said Dr. Stephanie Markle, an intensive care surgeon in Kalamazoo and a member of the Medicare Protection Committee, during a press conference organized by the committee.

Amid climbing cases in Michigan, Markle said her hospital needed to reopen Covid-19 units to prepare for more patients. She said hospitals have plans to increase and are "preparing for the next wave that we know is already here."

"We are extremely concerned that the president's rallies will affect people in our communities. This will lead to an uncontrolled spread that will exacerbate the pain and suffering we are already seeing across the state," she said.

Dr. Rob Davidson, a West Michigan emergency doctor and executive director of the Medicare Protection Committee, criticized the president for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus and using his rallies to "hide the fact that he had thrown in the towel".

"Those of us who see how Covid-19 looks for ourselves up close to patients who cannot breathe know that Covid-19 isn't going anywhere once it does," Davidson said. He added that visitors and patients in his emergency room were frustrated when they were told to wear face covering.

"Every time he mocks people for wearing masks, he signals supporters not to wear masks," Davidson said.

Trump's re-election team told CNBC that they are "taking strict precautions" at the presidential campaign events, including: For example, measure the participants' temperatures beforehand, make sure there is hand sanitizer, provide face coverings, and instruct people to wear them.

"Americans have the right to meet under the First Amendment to hear from the President of the United States," said Courtney Parella, assistant national press secretary for Trump's campaign.


Steven Gregory