Iowa mayor speaks out over Trump rally in his city: ‘We don’t want a super-spread event here in Des Moines’


A mayor is “absolutely” worried that a Trump campaign rally scheduled to take place in his city this week could turn into a Covid-19 super-spreading event.

Frank Cownie, Democrat mayor of Des Moines, Iowa, pleaded with the president’s campaign team to encourage social distancing at the event so that local infection rates remain low.

“Absolutely I’m worried about the spread. We don’t want a super-spread event here in Des Moines,” Mr Cownie, 72, told the Des Moines Register when asked if he was concerned about how the rally could impact transmission of the disease in Des Moines.

“We urge everyone who would attend this event to wear a mask and social distance as best they can, and to stay safe and healthy. We all have to do everything we can do to keep our numbers down”.

Mr Trump, 74, is scheduled to visit Des Moines International Airport on Wednesday after he said he was given a clean bill of health from White House doctors having contracted coronavirus earlier this month.

On Sunday, the president said he had “total and complete sign off from White House Doctors” to fully return to the campaign trail, insisting he can no longer spread the disease to others and is now immune.

Twitter later flagged his tweet with a fact-check warning. It is unclear how long immunity lasts after contracting and recovering from coronavirus, and there have been reports of re-infection.

After the president was given the green light to resume public events, his campaign team organised a number of events for this week, with a rally planned for Florida on Monday.

Trump officials claim coronavirus regulations will be enforced at the Des Moines rally.

“The event is at an open door airplane hangar where people will be expressing their First Amendment rights and hearing from the president of the United States,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtagh told The Hill.

“We will have safety protocols in place. All attendees will be given a temperature check, masks which they are instructed to wear, and access to hand sanitizer”.

During his election campaign, the president has held a number of events attended by thousands of supporters, many of whom did not wear masks or practise social distancing.

Iowa has reported 99,000 coronavirus cases and recorded 1,460 deaths; Des Moines registered 1,000 new infection on Saturday.


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