Donald Trump’s summer rallies resulted in 30,000 cases of Covid-19 – and likely led to 700 deaths, a new study has found.
The study, published by the Institute for Economic Policy Research at Stanford University, investigated the impact of 18 rallies on local communities.
They found the events increased the subsequent cases of coronavirus by an average of more than 250 per 100,000 residents.
The President has been holding at least daily rallies in the closing weeks of the campaign – with up to five a day planned between now and election day on Tuesday.
The masks are notorious for attendees failing to wear masks or observe social distancing guidance.
And President Trump himself has repeatedly suggested the virus was a media conspiracy to suppress turnout in the election.
He has mocked people who wore masks, downplayed the risks of the virus suggesting people simply “get better”, and falsely claimed doctors are inflating death figures in order to make money.
It comes after The Villages, a huge retirement community in Florida, yesterday reported an uptick in cases, a week after Trump visited for a huge rally.
The Stanford study looked at a string of events in July, August and September – starting with the President’s notorious rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Authors, B. Douglas Bernheim, Nina Buchmann, Zach Freitas-Groff and Sebastián Otero, said the estimated death toll was not limited to those who attended the rallies – because it would spread from attendees to family and friends in the following days and weeks.
It reads: “At least through September 2020, 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 ‘superspreader event.”
In their conclusion, the authors add: “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.
“The communities in which Trump rallies took place paid a high price in terms of disease and death.”