MADISON, Wis. — President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally in Janesville on Saturday.
It will be his first stop in Wisconsin since his positive coronavirus test — which cancelled a pair of rallies in the Green Bay and Janesville two weeks ago.
On Thursday, Governor Tony Evers expressed concern over Saturday's rally.
“Unless something extraordinary happens between now and then, he'll be encouraging a super-spreader event,” Evers said. “As governor of the state of Wisconsin I sure would ask him personally, have people wear a mask, have them be physically distant.”
Wisconsin doctors spoke out today against holding the rally as well. The Committee to Protect Medicare held a virtual press conference with two Wisconsin doctors to talk about the rally.
“President trump tells people not to be afraid of COVID-19, but he hasn't looked into the terrified eyes of our patients who can't breathe,” said Dr. Ann Helms, a neurologist working in Milwaukee
She told reporters that rallies like this put people at risk.
“As many as 40 percent of people with COVID-19 don't show any symptoms, and the high number of cases we're seeing in Wisconsin means it's very likely that someone with coronavirus might attend one of these rallies and spread COVID-19 to the people standing next to them,” Helms said.
In a statement to Spectrum News, deputy national press secretary Courtney Parella responded to Evers and the Doctor's concerns.
“we take strong precautions for our campaign events,” Parella said. “Every attendee has their temperature checked, is provided a mask they’re instructed to wear, and has access to plenty of hand sanitizer. We also have signs at our events instructing attendees to wear their masks.”
On the Committee to Protect Medicare press conference, Dr. Bob Freedland, an ophthalmologist in La Crosse said the rallies in effect are dangerous.
“COVID-19 is threatening to spiral out of control in our state,” Freedland said. “President Trump's rallies endanger public health and they have become platforms for him to spread medically inaccurate information that puts people's lives at risk right here in Wisconsin.”
Two weeks ago, ahead of a planned rally in Janesville, The Rock County Public Health Department asked the president not to come citing rising cases.
“We are in crisis mode with the virus spreading rapidly in our community. A large gathering at this time would jeopardize the health of many people in our community,” said Marie-Noel Sandoval, Rock County Public Health Office in an October 1st letter.
Today a spokesperson with the department said the numbers have continued to climb, and they still would ask the President to reconsider holding a large event.
Trump is expected to hold the event at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville.