A recent study conducted by Stanford University economists concluded that Trump rallies may have caused approximately 30,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and lead that 700 deaths.
The study examined 18 Trump rallies held between June 20 and September 30 and compared the COVID-19 data in the hosted counties with that of demographically similar counties that didn’t hold rallies.
“The communities in which Trump rallies took place paid a high price in terms of disease and death,” wrote the study’s authors.
The researchers determined that the 18 events, “produced increases in confirmed cases of more than 250 per 100,000 residents.” And by “extrapolating that figure to the 18 rallies” they were able to conclude that the events resulted in at least 30,000 cases of COVID-19.
“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 economists wrote in their conclusion. “The communities in which Trump rallies took place paid a high price in terms of disease and death.”
After the release of the study, Joe Biden issues a statement saying Trump is “costing hundreds of lives and sparking thousands of cases with super spreader rallies that only serve his own ego.”
When asked by multiple outlets to comment on the study, White House spokesman, Judd Deere said it was “a politically driven model based on flawed assumptions and meant to shame Trump supporters.”
Trump campaign spokesperson Courtney Parella added that rally attendees are provided masks and instructed to wear them. “Americans have the right to gather under the First Amendment to hear from the President of the United States, and we take strong precautions for our campaign events,” Parella said.
A recent CNN analysis found that 82% of 17 counties that hosted Trump rallies between August and September saw an increased rate of new cases one month later.
Another analysis by the Center for American Progress found that a spike in cases followed about half of 22 Trump rallies held between June and September, “suggesting the events may have led to community spread.”
Of course, Trump rarely wears a mask himself, despite contracting COVID-19 just last month. He has faced criticism from public health experts for holding events that ignore guidelines meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including many in-person rallies where he and many of his supporters have not worn masks.