Eighteen election rallies by US President Donald Trump are estimated to have led to more than 30,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and likely led to more than 700 deaths, a study by researchers at Stanford University said.
“The Effects of Large Group Meetings on the Spread of COVID-19: The Case of Trump Rallies” – the study title said that communities “paid a high price in terms of disease and death”.
“Our analysis strongly supports the warnings and recommendations of public health officials concerning the risk of COVID-19 transmission at large group gatherings, particularly when the degree of compliance with guidelines concerning the use of masks and social distancing is low,” researchers said in the study.
Researchers said the purpose of the study is to shed light on these issues by studying the impact of 18 election rallies held by Trump’s campaign between June 20 and September 30.
The researchers said Trump rallies have several “distinguishing features” that lend themselves to this inquiry, adding that attendees at Trump rallies numbered in the thousands and sometimes in the tens of thousands.
They noted that the rallies were not geographically ubiquitous and the degree of compliance with guidelines concerning the use of masks and social distancing was low “in part because the Trump campaign downplayed the risk of infection. This feature heightens the risk that a rally could become a “super spreader event.”
Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden said “President Trump doesn’t care about you. He doesn’t even care about his own supporters.”