Fox anchor presses Trump aide on indoor rally: ‘This goes against the president’s own administration guidelines’
Fox News anchor Sandra Smith pressed a top aide to President Trump’s reelection campaign on how campaign officials justify an indoor rally in Nevada over the weekend, after critics said the event could lead to an outbreak of coronavirus cases in the state.
Smith confronted Erin Perrine, the Trump campaign’s director of press communications, on whether “two wrongs” make a right after Perrine defended the rally as taking place amid other mass gatherings, including ongoing protests over racial injustice.
“I’ve got to ask you about this rally over the weekend last night in Nevada. Clearly, when you look at the videos, when you look at the pictures, you see that people are not social distanced, they’re indoors, against the governor’s orders in that state to not gather in groups of more than 50 people,” Smith said on FOX News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom.”
“You see that and think about the enormous sacrifice that we’ve made as Americans to stop the spread of this virus and to tackle this pandemic. And I’ll just ask you as a member of the president’s campaign why you saw this as a risk worth taking, to crowd those people?” Smith continued.
Perrine said event organizers took measures to ensure the safety of those in attendance at the Sunday night rally and compared the event to protests for social justice seen across the country this summer.
“Under the First Amendment, we are allowed to have a peaceful assembly of people, and we had hand sanitizer readily available, masks handed to every individual, and temperature checks,” she said.
“If you can violently riot in the streets, if you can violently protest in the streets, if you can go and gamble in a casino without any health or safety precautions, then the president can stand in front of supporters and have a conversation with them about what’s a stake here in 2020,” Perrine continued.
Smith pointed to the Trump administration’s guidelines regarding social distancing, mask wearing and large gatherings.
“It sounds like, I have to say, two wrongs don’t make a right,” Smith said. “I mean, this goes against the president’s own administration’s guidelines. It goes against the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] CDC guidelines when it comes to coronavirus.”
Democratic nominee for president Joe Biden slammed Trump’s decision to hold the rally, calling it “reckless.”
“President Trump can’t hide from the truth,” Biden said. “Months after admitting to misleading the American public about the pandemic, he still has no plan to contain COVID-19, a virus that has killed more than 1,400 Nevadans, afflicted more than 72,000 residents and devastated the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of workers across the Silver State.”
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) was also critical of the rally on Sunday.
“Tonight, President Donald Trump is taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada,” Sisolak said. “The president appears to have forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global pandemic.”