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President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally at MBS International Airport in Freeland, Michigan on September 10, 2020. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

"It's a Superspreader Event": Few Masks in Sight at Packed Trump Campaign Rally in Michigan

"The lives of everyone in these photos—and of everyone they come into contact with in the next few weeks—are now at risk. But Donald Trump doesn't care, so long as his ego is fed."

Jake Johnson

The lack of both face masks and social distancing on display at President Donald Trump's packed campaign rally in Freeland, Michigan Thursday evening deeply alarmed epidemiologists, journalists, and other observers who warned the gathering could turn out to be a Covid-19 "superspreader event" that endangers the lives of the thousands of attendees and those they come in contact with in the near future.

Reporters covering the rally on the ground in Freeland were quick to note the lack of face coverings in the crowd of more than 5,000 Michiganders who assembled in support of Trump's reelection bid just 24 hours after the president admitted he has been downplaying the severity of the virus from the start because he didn't "want people to be frightened."

"This is the crap that makes grown epidemiologists cry," epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, a fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, said in response to photos emerging from the campaign event, which was held at a Freeland aircraft hangar. According to state health officials, more than 120,000 Michiganders have contracted Covid-19 and at least 6,900 have died.

Several rally attendees expressed complete indifference about the threat the event posed to their own health and that of others, with one Trump supporter telling CNN's Jim Acosta, "There's no Covid."

"It's a fake pandemic created to destroy the United States of America," the man said.

Another supporter of the president told Acosta that he is "not afraid" of the virus because "the good lord takes care of me."

"If I die, I die," the man added. "We gotta get this country moving."

Veteran Michigan reporter and New York Times correspondent Kathy Gray said Trump campaign officials tracked her down and escorted her out of the event after she tweeted pictures of rallygoers without face coverings. Gray estimated that "maybe 10%" of the thousands of attendees were wearing face coverings.

"I've just been kicked out of the Trump rally," wrote Gray.

At one point during his rambling and lie-filled speech Thursday, Trump bragged about the number of people who turned out for the event without voicing any public health concerns, declaring, "This is not the crowd of a person who comes in second place."

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) warned during the rally that "the lives of everyone in these photos—and of everyone they come into contact with in the next few weeks—are now at risk. But Donald Trump doesn't care, so long as his ego is fed."

As the Detroit Free Press reported, the dangerously crowded Trump rally was "in stark contrast" to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's visit to the state on Wednesday.

"That speech was closed to the public," the Free Press reported, "with media and a handful of attendees asked to remain in chairs spaced throughout a parking lot."

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'Congress Must Act': Bernie Sanders Demands End of Filibuster to Codify Abortion Rights

"We must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country. And if there aren't 60 votes to do it, and there are not, we must reform the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes."

Jon Queally ·

Human Rights Defenders Warn Biden Border Policy 'Quickly Transforming Into Trump 2.0'

Like his predecessor, President Joe Biden now being accused of "using racist, xenophobic tropes about immigrants to weaponize Covid-19 against migrants and asylum-seekers."

Jon Queally ·

'Bombshell': Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

Calling the Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group an "in-plain-sight national security threat," one expert warned that "a multi-agency investigation is immediately needed."

Jessica Corbett ·

US Progressive Caucus Hails Honduran Election as Chance for 'New Chapter' in Relations

"We encourage the Biden administration to use this opportunity to make a clean break with previous presidential administrations, which worked to ensure that the 2009 coup d'état succeeded."

Brett Wilkins ·

'The Facts of This Case Are So Egregious': Parents of Michigan School Shooter Charged in Killings

"There were a lot of things that could have been so simple to prevent," the Oakland County prosecutor said of the mother and father now being sought by law enforcement.

Kenny Stancil ·

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