Stanford University estimates that President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies led to 30,000 new COVID-19 infections and more than 700 deaths in U.S.
Their analysis strongly supported the warnings and recommendations of public health officials concerning the risk of COVID-19 transmission at large group gatherings, particularly when the degree of compliance with guidelines concerning the use of masks and social distancing is low. The researchers said that the communities in which Trump rallies took place paid a high price in terms of disease and death.
Trump has held several dozen rallies in all states during the 2020 Presidential election. At each event, several thousand people were estimated to have participated. While most of the rallies were held outdoors, and some were indoors. Most people were seen without a mask in many rallies, and some are not wearing it properly. Trump rallies might have spread the COVID-19 infection, but it is challenging to get the exact numbers.
According to a Reuters report, Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said that Stanford's study was suggestive of spread from the events, but not definitive because it was not based on an investigation of actual cases. He also said that there is a lack of coordination for contact tracing in many states in the U.S. Dr. Eric Topol, genomic expert, said that if a country provides a rally's accurate number, then scientists could extrapolate the infection rate; unfortunately, it does not have a single rally number.
Moreover, the Stanford study is not yet peer-reviewed. Experts believe that it is difficult to find rallies' impact until the respective administration figure out the tracing of infection accurately. Hence, it requires more research on this matter.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.