Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Trump defiance to hold indoor rallies amidst COVID-19 sparks polarized responses 

President Donald Trump has resumed his rally schedule despite the pandemic. Photo by @darrylsphoto via Twenty20

On the heels of acknowledging the severity of COVID-19 to journalist Bob Woodward, President Trump recently held his first indoor rally in nearly three months in Nevada, where he openly ignored the state’s coronavirus restriction, and with most attendees maskless.

“This is quintessential Trump,” said Kelly Conklin, a Data Engineering Manager based in Brooklyn. “He is here to protect himself and protect himself only.”

Since the onset of the pandemic, Trump has downplayed the severity of the virus and made contradictory claims against public health officials guidelines. Since the outbreak, virus deaths have surpassed 200,000

Robert Hitchner, a moderate from Pennsylvania, said he believes Trump is holding indoor rallies likely at the request of his supporters and because we’re on the cusp of the presidential election. And while he believes indoor rallies are a bad idea, he doesn’t think we’re focusing our attention in the right place. 

“Are the protests that have sprung up around this country a good thing? No,” said Hitchner. “Somehow, the people who are protesting are accepted and admired. They are gathering in large groups, rioting, burning buildings, they’re destroying small businesses. And we’re worried about Trump getting together for a rally? I think we’re worried about the wrong things.”

Hitchner said he wasn’t shocked to hear Trump knew the virus was deadly because he felt it was obvious. He stocked up on groceries back in February when the numbers spiked in Italy. 

“I don’t think he was holding a great secret,” Hitchner said. “When he heard about it from China, Trump shut down travel to the country. And you don’t want to panic everyone, right? But you do want to take steps and try to make the right decisions. It’s a difficult situation.”

Dan Shorts, Director of Government Affairs for the National Confectioners Association, acknowledged how troubling Trump’s comments are as quoted in Woodward’s book, but questioned the amount of information available at the time Trump made his comments to Woodward.

 “They don’t make it completely clear how much the President knew about the virus in February,
said Shorts. “I think it’s premature to say there was enough information available at that time to President Trump (or anyone) to know precisely how deadly the virus was, let alone all of the drastic and sweeping measures necessary to combat the virus.” 

But Jaqueline Carey, a published novelist and self identified social media warrior of the Montclair Democrats, holds only disdain for Trump’s indoor rallies.

“I found it disgusting that Trump continued to hold indoor rallies when he was aware that COVID-19 was easily transmitted through the air,” said Carey. “I don’t find it surprising. Trump is a bundle of nerve ends, impulses, demons, and neediness.”

Carey said Trump rallies are driven by his ego.

I suspect that rallies are the only time when Trump has felt alive through his whole political experience,” Carey said. “He wouldn’t make a distinction between indoor and outdoor. He wouldn’t care if all the attendees died. He has no sense that other people are real.”

Trump is widely known to hold a bold and fiery campaign style, one of which has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shorts said his decision to hold indoor rallies could be an act of defiance against his critics. 

“I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that he replaced his campaign manager after turnout was less than expected at his last indoor rally in June, in Tulsa, Oklahoma,” Shorts said. “I think returning to the indoor format is an attempt to portray a resurgence in enthusiasm from his supporters that the optics of his Tulsa rally failed to translate.”

 


Tags


Other Stories in Special Report: Shutdown: The Coronavirus

The Spirit of Little Haiti

Savannah Daniels October 14, 2020

Small business owners hope for future relief

Courtney Guarino October 2, 2020

Brooklyn Book Festival held virtually

Chuyan Jiang September 28, 2020

NYC Restaurant owners worry about maintaining business during winter 

Isabel Beer September 27, 2020

The pandemic is causing mental health struggles for many Latinos

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 24, 2020

Politically divided family can agree on one thing, rallies are bad during a pandemic

Michelle Diaz September 23, 2020

New Yorkers are vulnerable to mental issues due to pandemic

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 23, 2020

Healthcare professionals struggle with Trump’s decisions during pandemic

Tori Luecking September 23, 2020

Some Americans Say “Not So Fast” on Operation Warp Speed

James Pothen September 23, 2020

Trump voters unfazed by morality of Trump’s Covid response

Norah Hogan September 22, 2020

Trump rallies continue, despite the rising Covid-19 death toll

Isabel Beer September 22, 2020

Latinos weigh in on President Trump’s management of the pandemic

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 21, 2020

Fast track vaccine causes fear

Kaity Assaf September 21, 2020

It’s business as usual at McSorley’s Old Ale House

Tori Luecking September 20, 2020

NYC Cafes and restaurants try and survive the pandemic

Isabel Beer September 19, 2020

A typical afternoon at Shade Bar NYC

Kaity Assaf September 19, 2020

West Village staple, Caffe Reggio, remains open for outdoor dining in the wake of coronavirus restrictions 

Norah Hogan September 19, 2020

Fort Greene’s Dino adds outdoor dining to keep business flowing

Courtney Guarino September 19, 2020

COVID-19 hampers Fashion Week for photographers

Daniel Karel September 18, 2020

On the heels of revelation that Trump downplayed the covid threat, voters question rallies resuming

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 16, 2020

Overburdened mothers in Pakistan are relieved as schools reopens

Quratulain Tejani September 13, 2020

Students from different parts of the world struggle as schools reopen during a pandemic

Chuyan Jiang September 12, 2020

Special needs students face learning obstacles during Covid-19

Courtney Guarino September 12, 2020

Back to school – COVID-19 style 

Isabel Beer September 12, 2020

The new normal for school life is abnormal in Michigan

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 11, 2020

California School District Parents and Teachers Clash About Return to School

Norah Hogan September 10, 2020

A tribute to the mask pioneers

Bohao Liu July 11, 2020

Air pollution in China rebounds to pre-COVID level

Hannah Zhang July 11, 2020

ICE takes aim at international students

Maria Abreu July 10, 2020

Chinese students trapped by new ICE policy

Zishu Sherry Qin July 10, 2020

New ICE policy adds more turmoil to the lives of international students

Shiyu Xu July 10, 2020

Lawsuits follow ICE policy barring international students who are taking online classes

Joanna Lin Su July 10, 2020

Economists say the US needs a bold, generous fiscal response. Congress is likely to disappoint. 

Ahmed Mohamed July 9, 2020

Overseas Singaporeans have pandemic obstacles to voting

Yifan Yu July 9, 2020

Proximity sensors and hygiene stations are the “new normal”

Joanna Lin Su July 9, 2020

 Tour ticket vendors miss the hustle and bustle of Times Square

Narkwor Kwabla July 8, 2020

Dengue outbreak could be a greater threat than covid in Singapore

Yifan Yu July 8, 2020

Corporate bankruptcy: ‘A story that’s not going away’

Gaurav Sharma July 7, 2020

Beijing reopens as the second wave of coronavirus dies down

Hannah Zhang July 6, 2020

Masks or no masks?

Bohao Liu July 5, 2020

Varsity Flu

Madeline Gunderson July 3, 2020

Rail travel in China is popular during the pandemic and filled with safety measures

Bohao Liu July 3, 2020

Brazilian international student caught in US travel ban.

Marina Guimaraes July 3, 2020

MTA faces crisis following COVID shutdown

Daniel Girma July 2, 2020

Easter Market goes back to its roots

Kyla Milberger July 2, 2020

China’s Airline Industry Aims to Lure Back Passengers with Unlimited Flight Pass

Zishu Sherry Qin July 1, 2020

US corporate debt soars during coronavirus outbreak

Gaurav Sharma June 30, 2020

In Singapore, gay pride goes online

Yifan Yu June 29, 2020

The Hair Room reopens

Shiyu Xu June 29, 2020

A second wave of the coronavirus creates travel woes in Beijing

Hannah Zhang June 29, 2020