Donald Trump is a Walking COVID Superspreader

The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything about political campaigning. Unless you’re Donald Trump. In that case, everything’s the same as it ever was.

Trump held an outdoor rally in Pittsburgh, Pa. yesterday at which a large chunk of the crowd was maskless. Pennsylvania recorded more than 11,000 new COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, and the state currently prohibits even outdoor gatherings of more than 250 people. Allegheny County, where the rally was held, is currently seeing about 66 new cases per day and the city of Pittsburgh was found to have “far fewer hospital beds” than would be necessary to deal with even a moderate COVID-19 outbreak.

None of that matters to Trump, though. Concerts are still on hold and even the largest sporting events are only filled to about 20 percent capacity, but the president is barnstorming his way across the Midwest, gathering crowds to shower him with the love and praise he so desperately craves. Trump isn’t thinking about the people in the crowd and what might happen if they’re packed together and breathing the same air for several hours. He simply doesn’t care.

Trump’s Pittsburgh rally came a day after he told a crowd in Ohio that COVID-19 “affects virtually nobody.” That surely includes Herman Cain, who died of coronavirus after contracting it at Trump’s infamous Tulsa rally back in June. The Tulsa rally was also identified as a superspreader event, as cases in the area skyrocketed afterward.

None of it means anything to Trump, in part because it doesn’t personally affect him. He and his media stooges have spent most of the last two weeks skating over a recording of Trump saying he knew how bad COVID-19 was. The president fought back against it by saying he actually “up-played” the virus; White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany came out yesterday and said that 200,000 people dying was actually a “testament to the president’s immediate action.”

Trump and his people can’t even pretend to shrug at hundreds of thousands of deaths long enough to stay on message. During his Pittsburgh rally, the president clowned Joe Biden for his “love” of masks and CNN journalist Ali Velshi for getting shot with a rubber bullet while covering a Black Lives Matter protest. People dying of coronavirus and journalists getting shot by federal forces are features of the system, not bugs. It’s not just that the president doesn’t care that people are dying—Trump is arguably doing more than any other person on the planet to ensure the virus’ spread. And he’s eagerly sending his supporters to slaughter with every rally he holds.

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