Stanford Researchers: Trump Rallies Led to 30,000 COVID-19 Infections, 700 Deaths
According to their research, 18 rallies held between June 20 and September 22 led to more than 30,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The researchers also concluded that the rallies “likely led” to more than 700 deaths, although not necessarily among those who attended the events. -Slate October 31
Trump rallies that led to sickness and death of his rally goers and others in the community has been proven. Why are they still allowed to continue? They need to be stopped. I know people throw their hands up and say, "It's too late, there is nothing we can do now to stop them." Okay, if that's the case now what's your next step? Make the Trump campaign pay a price for this suffering and death to the communities they infected.
After the Rose Garden outbreak, when it was clear that "HE'S INFECTING HIS OWN PEOPLE!" most Democrats stopped pushing hard to stop rallies, hoping decent people would stay away from Trumpers. This might be a good strategy from an electoral point of view, but from a PUBLIC HEALTH point of view it's still bad to let people get infected.
I've been writing on how and why to stop rallies since Tulsa and Phoenix in June. Read all the methods and reasons at this piece Trump's Contact Tracing Failure. I wrote, "The people at Trump's rallies are suicide bombers. How many will they infect and kill?" We now have proof the rallies spread COVID but nobody in Trumpworld has paid a price for it yet.
The superspreader death rallies have become a joke on cable TV & late night shows, (SNL did a bit on this last night) yes it's gallows humor, but I'm tired of it. I want the organizers and their allies to pay a price for this recklessness that leads to illness and death. If you live in a city where there was or will be a Trump rally, there are things you can do to stop them now or make them pay afterwards. Let me explain why and how.
Why You Should Go After Trump's Campaign Rallies Now
1) IT WILL COST THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN MONEY
Besides possibly saving lives now, suing Trump's campaign for public health violations will cost them money. Trump cares about money above all else. Each lawsuit in each city can be used to hound him and the campaign after the election! It will cost his campaign people time and money to defend against this AND it might be a source of cash for the people suing.
2) It will cost Trump's allies money
Trump isn't loyal. Campaign allies and supporters might lose power and protection after the election, making them vulnerable AND more willing to roll on the Trump organization to protect themselves financially.
I spoke to Paul DeMuro, one of the lawyers who sued to prevent the Tulsa Rally. He pointed out that the case is not against Trump, it’s against the SMG and ASM Global Parent Inc., that company that ran the venue. HOT TIP for Tulsa residents the case is still open! PDF Link to Tulsa rally case
3) Multiple laws are broken around events
Don't just look at violations of pandemic executive orders, look for:
Bribes, payoffs and threats to non-cooperating officials
FEC and Hatch Act violations
4) Trump can't pardon the staff that broke the state laws
These cases will be state by state, and Trump can't pardon the campaign people or their local allies from state crimes.
5) It might save lives
We know that the Trump campaign DOES respond to certain pressures. They might make some changes pre-event; more likely they will AGREE to make changes then break those agreements. (Like we saw in Tulsa with the social distancing stickers when they then removed.) Cities and local activists can use those broken agreements or stiffed vendors for civil cases post election.
I've followed the behind the scenes story about the rallies in Michigan, Oklahoma, Arizona, Florida and Nebraska, I KNOW there are public health directors in these states and cities who are angry. There are also attorney generals and individual activists in cities who want to go after the private groups & enablers that have helped the Trump campaign put lives at risk.
No matter their politics, all city officials care about their budget. Whether or not Trump wins, the cities need money for services. Especially now. Why should they extend credit to the campaign for months given his track record?
ACTIONS TO TAKE NOW
Write your city director of finance or comptroller ask how much it cost and when they will be paid. (Here's contact info for Stephen Curtiss, Omaha's Finance Director/Acting City Comptroller ) Here's contact info for Dennis Rogero, Tampa's Chief Financial Officer and Tampa's Chief Accountant, Lee Huffstutler, CPA, CGFO.
Sample text: "How much taxpayer money was spent for all the extra services the city had to cover for the campaign? (For example, what was the cost of sending the police out to bring rally goers out of the freezing cold in Omaha? What was the cost of the Tampa Fire Department being sent for water cooling the crowd? What is the cost to the city for EMT services for the heat strokes? Send them these link to remind them of the Trump campaign's terrible payment record. Write today!
Post Election Action: Preparing For When Republicans Lose:
If Republicans lose they will spend the lame duck sessions in cities & states trying to grab power, hide grift and excuse their horrible actions. Now is the time to file FOIA requests on the rallies' details. (NOTE: The right will focus only on the laws that do or don't exist vs guidelines & recommendations because they care more about their liability than your life.) Things you'll want to determine:
- Who pressured whom to get the rallies? (Federal, State & Local)
- Who ignored public health guidelines AND/OR blocked passing laws that would support the guidelines?
- Who didn't push to enforce laws that DID exist that were broken at events? What excuses were made when attendees didn't follow the laws? What excuses were made for not enforcing laws?
- Who paid, or didn't pay, for which services? Were there Sweetheart Deals with elected officials?
- Were activities AROUND events, that add to the superspreader nature of them, counted? For example, were bars and other indoor spaces filled beyond capacity before and after the events? Was there any enforcement of those violations? Why not?
- What did public health officials recommend about crowds in buses before and after the events? Were they monitoring how long people were exposed to infected people?
(BTW Georgia Tech COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool calculates there was a 99% chance there were COVID positive people at the Omaha & Tampa rallies.)
If guidelines and recommendations at rallies weren't followed, because they weren't laws, it's time to make them laws. As we saw in Omaha and Tampa, poor planning and irresponsible behavior leads to endangering the lives of people. Yes, those people signed a waiver excusing Trump and this minions, but they shouldn't be let off the hook for the additional costs to the community. (Also based on my early research it's likely these waivers won't hold up in court.)
Trump doesn't care about his people, but he and his grifting buddies DO care about money. Make them pay.
You can push your city elected officials to get the money city taxpayers are owed. Help your local civil lawsuit lawyers and activist groups by gathering evidence of the laws broken and external costs of rallies by tracking what happened before during and after the events.
Check out this story on the ABC affiliate in Omaha interesting, they go out of their way to downplay number of people stranded and medical issues at the rally, but they end up explaining how many additional services the city provided to the Campaign in the form of police, medical services and city buses. Nebraska may be a Red state, but the big cities are mostly blue.
In another segment Jane Kleeb, the chair of the Nebraska Democratic party and Kara Eastman, a Democratic candidate for congress, talk about how unsafe the event is and how the President has abandoned fighting the pandemic.
Just because a rally was held in a red state with a republican governor and/or mayor doesn't mean there aren't democrats or progressives there. Those people need your help to push investigations and to get back taxpayer money.
Trump's campaign is notorious for not paying their bills while in office. Win or lose, the Trump Campaign is responsible for their debts. If they lose, the Campaign will claim they are broke. That should trigger the investigation into how the Campaign spent the money, which should lead to exposing multiple FEC violations and crimes. Taxpayers should demand money that was illegally allocated be clawed back and sent to them. Act now to ensure your city's debts are on the top of the creditor list!
City officials can't bring back the lives of those lost because of Trump's reckless decision to hold campaign rallies during the pandemic, but they can make sure his organization pays a huge price with the only thing they actually care about, money.