A Trump 2020 rally in Omaha, Nebraska last night turned into a scene from a disaster movie as thousands of attendees were left stranded in freezing temperatures. At least seven of those in attendance required hospitalization.
“In theory, I didn’t really have to be here,” Trump told the crowd, according to The Omaha World-Herald,“but it’s nice to be with friends.”
The 6,000 supporters who attended–many without masks or social distancing–may now feel the same way. Trump delivered remarks at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield, a remote airstrip which required attendees to park 30 minutes away and then transfer by bus to the rally at the airport. The Trump campaign assured supporters ahead of the rally that it would provide enough busses to allow for sufficient crowd control, despite police warnings to the contrary.
More than an hour after Trump departed on Air Force One, however, attendees began to believe that was not the case. The Washington Post reports that the busses couldn’t navigate the narrow roads and extra traffic from the rally, leaving thousands stranded on the airstrip. Worse, the temperature began to plunge to freezing temperatures. At least 30 people required medical attention, and seven required hospitalization for hypothermia.
The final rally attendees finally vacated the airport more than three hours after Trump’s departure.
The rally also comes at a sensitive time for Nebraska, still in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state reported a staggering 20% positivity rate among tested patients this week. Nebraska’s daily average for new cases has exceeded 800 for almost the past two weeks. During the rally, Trump boasted that “we’re making that final turn” on the virus.
Nebraska state Senator Sen. Megan Hunt (D) tweeted her outrage at Trump, and her sympathy for supporters at the rally. “Supporters of the President were brought in, but buses weren’t able to get back to transport people out,” she said. “It’s freezing and snowy in Omaha tonight. What people will do for this con man, what people have sacrificed, is so sad to me. He truly does not care about you.”
Supporters of the President were brought in, but buses weren’t able to get back to transport people out. It’s freezing and snowy in Omaha tonight.
— Senator Megan Hunt ? (@NebraskaMegan) October 28, 2020
At the time of this writing, the Trump campaign has not commented on the disastrous handling of the rally.