Minnesota Trump supporters say they're not concerned about getting sick after attending Trump's rally and fundraiser just days before he tested positive
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Just two days before President Donald Trump announced he and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus, he and his staff had been traveling through Minnesota, staging a rally and attending a private fundraiser at the home of a prominent Republican donor. In the wake of those events, many of the GOP officials who traveled with Trump or met with him personally have gotten tested for COVID-19, including state Reps. Jim Hagedorn and Tom Emmer, state Sen. Paul Gazelka, and Congressman Pete Stauber. But supporters who attended Trump events during his visit seemed far less concerned — partly because they were not nearly as close to the president as the Minnesota GOP officials were. But some also told Business Insider they felt confident in their health because they had taken precautions like social distancing and wearing masks. Health officials are urging anyone who attended Trump events to get tested Minnesota's Department of Health urged residents who attended Trump's rally to get tested roughly five to seven days after attending the event — even if they aren't displaying symptoms. "There is a potential risk that transmission occurred at the Duluth rally and other evens associated with President Trump's visit," the department said in a statement. "Community transmission of COVID-19 was high in St. Louis County prior to this week's rally, and people attending the rally may have been infectious without realizing it."
After a similar fundraiser at Trump's New Jersey golf club on Thursday, the state's health department sought a list of all staff members and fundraiser attendees, The New York Times reported. Gov. Phil Murphy also urged anyone who attended to immediately quarantine for 14 days and take a coronavirus test in five to seven days. Several Trump supporters who attended recent events in Minnesota told Business Insider they weren't scared about catching the virus in the wake of his rally and fundraiser — but they had varying opinions on how seriously they should take Trump's diagnosis. Maria Welter, who attended the rally in Duluth on Wednesday, told Business Insider she wasn't worried about Trump's health or her own health in the slightest. "He looked good at the rally and sounded good too," she said. She added that she hadn't heard about Minnesota's guidance to rally attendees to get tested. "I am not concerned at all. COVID has been blown way out of proportion," she said. Trump was transported to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday evening, where he will undergo testing and remain for at least a few days. The White House said he is experiencing a fever, cough, and fatigue. Other Trump supporters said they knew how serious COVID-19 can be — so they took precautions like social distancing and wearing masks Audie Lind, another Minnesota Trump supporter, told Business Insider he stood by a roadside near Lake Minnetonka and greeted the president's motorcade as Trump arrived at a private fundraiser in Shorewood. Lind said he was concerned for the health of the president and the first lady in the wake of their diagnosis, but not so much for his own, since he hadn't attended the fundraiser himself and hadn't come in direct contact with Trump or his staffers. Lind added that there were only 20 to 25 Trump and Biden supporters on the roadside with him as the motorcade drove by, and that they had maintained social distance. Still, he said it was worrying to learn of Trump's diagnosis. "It is surreal [Trump] was diagnosed with the virus within 48 hours of his Minnesota rally visit," he said. "I am concerned for anyone exposed at any rally and wish President Trump and the first lady a fast recovery." As for himself, Lind said he felt "normal" on Friday and was even headed to the gym for a workout. "I work 25-30 hours a week in a busy local restaurant and I feel I'm as much [at] risk to get it there or anywhere," he said. One Trump supporter, Joshua Narramore, told Business Insider he would consider following the Minnesota Department of Health's guidance to get tested after attending the rally in Duluth, though he had "faith that everything will work out."
He said he brought his wife and three young children to the rally, but they tried to position themselves away from others, and all of them wore masks, though they occasionally removed them. Narramore also said staff took attendees' temperatures before allowing them to enter the rally, and handed out free masks and hand sanitizer. He said he noticed many other attendees wearing their masks, though that hasn't always been the case at recent Trump rallies. Narramore said he knew how serious COVID-19 could be — he's had friends who have grown sick, including one who became severely ill with the virus despite being relatively young and having no underlying medical conditions. But he also said he didn't regret attending the rally. So many aspects of normal life were off-limits in recent months due to pandemic-related restrictions, he said, and Trump's rally was something to look forward to. "The one thing I've learned in life is that no matter what happens, you can't protect yourself from all the harms of the world," he said. "The only guarantees in life are death and taxes."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown
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Photos from Trump's Florida rally show supporters close together and not wearing masks even after Trump experienced COVID-19 first hand
Summary List Placement President Donald Trump held his first rally in Florida since being diagnosed with...Summary List Placement President Donald Trump held his first rally in Florida since being diagnosed with COVID-19 less than two weeks ago. Thousands of supporters packed on to the Orlando Sanford International Airport on Monday to hear Trump speak, many of whom did not wear masks or properly socially distance.Trump announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19 10 days ago in the early morning hours of October 2. Source: Business Insider Over a dozen of his close associates and White House staffers also tested positive for the virus. Source: Insider Many of those in the president's circle who tested positive attended a September 26 event where Trump formally announced his Supreme Court nominee. At least 150 attended that event, and many did not wear masks or practice social distancing. Source: Business Insider Ahead of the rally, the White House doctor said Trump had tested negative on "consecutive" days and is no longer infectious — but did not specify what days Trump tested negative on. Source: Business Insider Rally attendees included GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Trump fundraiser Kimberly Guilfoyle, neither of whom are pictured (below) wearing masks. Source: Business Insider While the event was held outside, which reduces transmission, experts have said that maintaining social distance and wearing a mask reduced the risk of coronavirus transmission. Source: Business Insider Florida has been badly hit by the pandemic. The state has had over 736,000 cases with more than 15,000 deaths. Source: Florida Department of Health The state was a hotspot for most of the summer and while cases began to drop, they shot back up after Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed restaurants and small businesses to fully reopen, late last month. Source: Business Insider The US as a whole has had more than 7.8 million coronavirus cases and over 214,000 deaths. Source: Johns Hopkins University
A majority of Americans say Trump didn't do enough to avoid getting COVID-19 and acted irresponsible around others, polling shows
Summary List Placement Americans are seemingly unimpressed by President Donald Trump's efforts to avoid both contracting...Summary List Placement Americans are seemingly unimpressed by President Donald Trump's efforts to avoid both contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to others, based on new polling released Monday. Voters were asked by Morning Consult/Politico whether Trump took the proper precautions to protect himself from COVID-19. More than three-in-five voters (63% overall) said Trump did not take proper precautions, with less than a quarter (23%) stating that the president did take the proper precautions, the poll found. A separate poll, conducted by CNN, asked voters if they thought Trump acted responsibly or irresponsibly in handling the risk of coronavirus infection to the people who have been around him recently. A majority of voters (63%) said Trump acted irresponsibly, according to the poll, while roughly a third (33%) said the president acted responsibly. Trump has spent months downplaying the threat of COVID-19 and flouting public health recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus. During the first presidential debate last Tuesday, less than a week before Trump tested positive for the virus, the president mocked former Vice President Joe Biden for routinely wearing a mask in public. Top medical experts, including those advising Trump within the government, have consistently urged Americans to wear a mask or face-covering to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Trump has generally rejected this advice and pushed against the notion wearing masks benefits public health amid the pandemic. Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19 late last week, and subsequently transferred to Walter Reed Medical Center after his condition worsened. A little over a week ago, Trump held an event in the Rose Garden to announce his Supreme Court nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in mid-September. Attendees did not social distance or wear masks, and a number have since tested positive for the virus. Last Thursday, longtime Trump adviser Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus. Trump has faced backlash for attending a fundraiser in New Jersey on Thursday, where he was in contact with roughly 100 people, given he'd been in Hicks' vicinity earlier in the week. White House officials have said they learned of Hicks' diagnosis after Trump left Washington for New Jersey. The president was also widely criticized by medical professionals on Sunday after he took a car ride near the hospital to wave at supporters who'd gathered in the area. Experts said that Trump unnecessarily put the lives of Secret Service agents at risk. Trump is set to leave the hospital on Monday evening, though the White House physician earlier in the day cautioned that the president "may not entirely be out of the woods yet" with the virus. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What happens to animals during wildfires
Trump, carrying the highly contagious COVID-19 virus, returns to the White House and dodges questions about how many people close to him have gotten sick
Summary List PlacementPresident Donald Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday night, after...Summary List PlacementPresident Donald Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday night, after spending three days there to receive COVID-19 treatment. As he was leaving a reporter shouted: "How many of your staff are sick? Do you think you might be a super spreader, Mr. President?" Trump replied with "Thank you, very much." Trump removed his face mask when he arrived at the White House, flouting medical advice designed to protect others from those who are infected with the virus. BREAKING: Pres. Trump arrives back at the White House, and removes his mask, following several nights at Walter Reed Medical Center. The president left Walter Reed this evening despite not having completed his full COVID-19 treatment. https://t.co/XCER5YMh2e pic.twitter.com/rTfKo35d4G — ABC News (@ABC) October 5, 2020 Doctors earlier Monday said Trump's condition had improved after several therapeutic COVID-19 treatments. He was diagnosed with the illness late last week. Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician said Trump was healthy enough to leave the facility but "may not entirely be out of the woods yet." Conley said Trump would be taken to the White House medical unit where he will continue his treatment. Multiple people who have interacted with Trump in the past week have tested positive for COVID-19, including First Lady Melania Trump, adviser Hope Hicks, the Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, and the White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. On Sunday, Trump also was filmed temporarily leaving Walter Reed in the back of a black car to wave at supporters who were outside the medical center. A doctor at the hospital accused him of putting the lives of Secret Service agents at risk for "political theater." "Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential 'drive-by' just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity," Dr. James P. Phillips, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University said in a tweet. Trump announced that he and Melania were positive for the virus on Friday after Hicks tested positive on Thursday. The president on Saturday, September 26 hosted an event at the White House Rose Garden to announce his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and several who attended would later also test positive. The affair may have been a super-spreader event. Those who attended could be seen not wearing masks or socially distancing. On Tuesday, September 29, Trump attended the first presidential debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Trump arrived too late to be tested, moderator Chris Wallace said. His family could also be seen not wearing masks. Trump also attended a rally in North Carolina on Wednesday, and on Thursday attended a fundraiser at his Bedminster, New Jersey, resort. He announced his positive diagnosis just hours after. In the ensuing days, multiple people at the September 26 event announced that they had COVID-19, including two senators, former counselor Kellyann Conway, and University of Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown