On Sunday night ― and for the second time in one week ― hundreds of Trump supporters leaving a rally were forced to wait hours in the cold for buses meant to drive them back to their cars.
In footage first shared by NBC News, hundreds of rally attendees in Rome, Georgia, could be seen huddled together long after President Donald Trump had ended his remarks and taken off for Florida, his next campaign stop.
As the temperature hovered around 46 degrees, some among the stranded sat and lay on the ground as they waited, and others tried to hitch rides from strangers.
Hundreds of Trump supporters at a rally in Omaha, Nebraska, last Tuesday also found themselves stranded for hours after Trump left, waiting on buses to take them back to their cars.
Throughout his campaign, Trump’s choice to hold large, in-person rallies ― in defiance of public health guidelines and with coronavirus cases and deaths spiking in states across the country ― has not been without consequence.
According to a recent study out of Stanford University, a series of Trump rallies from June to September effectively served as superspreader events, resulting in 30,000 new cases of the coronavirus and at least 700 deaths in communities he visited.
During a Trump rally in Florida last Thursday, authorities reported that dozens of attendees were rushed to the hospital after being overcome by the heat as the temperature reached a humid 87 degrees.
Trump, who contracted the coronavirus in September and received care at Walter Reed Medical Center, has insisted on hosting large events even as more attendees experience health issues and face health risks clearly linked to his campaign. These superspreader events are not just a platform to express the policies of the Trump administration — which has floated the dangerous theory of “herd immunity” — they are the president’s policy as it pertains to coronavirus.
Weeks after Trump contracted the virus, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said he was “absolutely not” surprised that Trump had become infected, citing Trump’s defiance of social distancing guidelines and his opposition to masks.
At a rally Sunday, with the pandemic ravaging states across the country, Trump suggested he would fire Fauci “a little bit after” the upcoming election.