Trump supporters were quite literally left out in the cold after a rally on Tuesday evening. Thousands of people attended the Trump’s Omaha, Nebraska campaign event, braving the weather to listen to the president rile up his base at Eppley Airfield. However, due to mismanagement and ill-preparedness of event organizers, many were left stranded outside of the event, waiting for buses to come to shuttle them back to their cars which were parked in lots. As swarms of MAGA supporters spent hours waiting to leave the rally, several began to suffer ill effects from the cold, with a few who had to be treated for hypothermia. Trump, meanwhile, immediately boarded Air Force One when the event ended and left the state.
As of Wednesday, at least 30 people were reported to have been treated or monitored in some capacity by medics. According to the Trump administration, the buses were delayed due to “a traffic jam.” But his supporters were reported to be suffering from signs of fatigue and confusion, which are symptoms of hypothermia, on a local police scanner. Since many cars were up to four miles away from the venue, some people walked, while police and airport maintenance vehicles attempted to assist others who were making the trek. CNN reporter Jeff Zeleny, who attended the rally, called the event a “chaotic cluster.”
But this isn't a new occurrence for the MAGA-clad crowd. Trump’s rallies have been accused of being reckless, especially during a pandemic. Since Trump has been on the 2020 campaign trail, Herman Cain died of COVID-19 after attending an indoor Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma in July. And, at least five counties have reported higher rates of the virus after a Trump rally took place there.
But it’s not just COVID-19 that the Trump administration is subjecting people to: they appear to be failing to take attendees health and well-being into account in other areas, too. Aside from Omahans being stranded in freezing weather, two weeks ago at Vice President Pence’s rally at The Villages, Florida, at least one attendee became faint in the heat and had to be escorted out of the venue in a wheelchair. Some states, like Virginia, have tried to block Trump’s rallies from happening, calling them a “severe public health threat,” which seems to be more true than ever.
It’s unsurprising that an administration who has been so cavalier about a deadly virus that they allowed themselves to get infected would care so little about the health and safety of their supporters; what’s saddest, however, is the number of people willing to risk their lives for an administration who couldn’t care less about them.