Thousands attend Trump rally, few wear masks as COVID-19 related deaths continue to soar

Photo by Alphonso Abbott Jr. -- Protestors standing near the Smith Reynolds Airport while President Donald Trump held a campaign rally on Tuesday, Sept. 8 here in Winston-Salem.

Thousands attend Trump rally, few wear masks as COVID-19 related deaths continue to soar
September 09
14:27 2020

Despite there still being restrictions on large gatherings across N.C., there were few masks and even less social distancing at the Smith Reynolds Airport on Tuesday where President Donald Trump held a campaign rally.

Under Safer At Home Phase 2.5, which was part of an Executive Order signed by Governor Roy Cooper last week, masks are required in all public places and there is a 50-person limit on all outdoor events – a far cry from the thousands of barefaced Trump supporters who showed up for the rally.

The line of supporters began to form more than five hours before the gates were officially scheduled to open. While waiting, Courtney Miller, who made the trip from Virginia for the event, said she was confident that Trump would be re-elected in November. “I know he’s going to win because he’s the best man for the job. Just look at how he’s turned this country around since he’s been in office,” she said.

When discussing the Safer At Home order, Trump said the state should be open without any restrictions. He mentioned if Governor Cooper drops restrictions, N.C. would “probably” have the best economy on record. “Your state should be open,” he continued.

“When you just take a look at what’s going in North Carolina, they want to open … and it’s a shame what’s going on. And I’ll tell you what, on November 4 everyone of those states will open.”

Although COVID-19 numbers are trending down, to date (Sept. 8) in North Carolina, there have been 178,635 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,909 virus related deaths, the ninth most in the country. In the past week, nearly 10,000 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported and close to 200 North Carolinians have died due to the virus.

Here in Forsyth County, to date there have been 6,457 confirmed cases and more than 80 deaths.

During the rally, Trump said he’s running for re-election to keep jobs in America and to put criminals behind bars, protect our boarders and strengthen the economy. He also took several shots at his challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris. Trump referred to Biden and Harris as “far left wing extremists who have no idea what they’re doing.”

“If our foreign adversaries were devising a scheme to cripple America, they could hardly do better than Biden-Kamala Harris,” he said. “In exchange for his party’s nomination, Biden has now formed an unholy alliance with the most extreme and dangerous elements of the radical left.”

In response to Trump’s visit to the City of Arts and Innovation, Biden said Trump doesn’t have solid plans to address the COVID-19 pandemic or how to restart our economy and provide relief for struggling Americans and small businesses owners.

“President Trump’s mismanagement has cost too many North Carolinians their lives and livelihoods, with communities of color bearing the brunt of the devastation. He has looked away from North Carolinians in need of a lifeline, even as his wealthy corporate donors get ahead,” Biden wrote in a statement. “As President, I will fight for your family like it’s my own. I will bring our country together to defeat this pandemic and build our economy back better so that it works for all North Carolinians and leaves no one behind.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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