"Trump is just going around the country giving people Covid-19, hypothermia, and heat strokes."
That is how one observer summarized the mounting consequences stemming from President Donald Trump's increasingly dangerous rallies following reports of at least a dozen attendees suffering from heat-related illnesses being rushed to a Tampa-area hospital during Trump's packed campaign event on Thursday.
In addition to those who were hospitalized after waiting for several hours in 87-degree heat in a congested crowd, another five people required medical attention and were treated at the scene, according to NBC News.
President Donald Trump’s rally in Tampa, Florida, sent some heat-stricken fans to the hospital. pic.twitter.com/Dt4779HmqA— HuffPost (@HuffPost) October 30, 2020
The Florida debacle came just two days after 30 people who attended Trump's exhibition in Omaha, Nebraska required medical attention, including several taken to the hospital with possible hypothermia, when the president abandoned them in freezing cold weather without transportation from the stands to the parking lot where their vehicles sat, nearly four miles away.
This week's Trump rally fiascos prompted a flurry of reactions on social media.
"Freezing his supporters on Wednesday, baking them on [Thursday], possibly exposing them to the coronavirus on both days," noted journalist Aaron Rupar. "There's truly no place more fun than a Trump rally."
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Author Rick Newman pointed out "all the things you can get at a Trump rally: heat stroke, hypothermia, Covid-19."
"Trump's rallies pose a risk not only to participants themselves, but also to others in the communities in which they are held."
—Center for American Progress
The "Trump campaign goes into the home stretch by infecting, freezing, and now burning its own supporters," tweeted economic analyst Patrick Watson.
Even before Trump subjected his backers to Florida's harsh weather, many commentators—including Common Dreams columnist Abby Zimet—had already drawn attention to the highly symbolic nature of this week's campaign events, which demonstrate the president's evident disregard for the nation's public health, and even his own supporters' well-being.
"Trump in a nutshell," wrote Zimet in response to the president departing Omaha on the Air Force One while leaving his fans stranded in dangerous conditions with no plan.
It is important to note that the negative impacts flowing in the wake of these campaign spectacles are not confined to the bleachers where they occur.
As Common Dreams reported earlier this week, Trump's overcrowded campaign rallies are associated with county-level increases in Covid-19 cases, suggesting that the president's in-person events attracting thousands of people may be unnecessarily intensifying the spread of coronavirus throughout the country.
"Trump's rallies pose a risk not only to participants themselves," said the Center for American Progress in a recent report, "but also to others in the communities in which they are held."