Minnesota health officials connect COVID-19 cases to Trump, Biden campaign events
Minnesota health officials said Monday that they have connected more than two dozen coronavirus cases to Trump and Biden campaign events in the state.
Sixteen cases have been tied to a Bemidji outdoor airport rally the president hosted Sept. 18, according to state health officials. Of these, four were reported by protesters at the event, according to state infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann. Ehresmann added that not all of the cases were necessarily contracted at the event.
Officials said three more cases involved people who attended a Sept. 30 Duluth Trump rally, as well as another three tied to attendees of a Sept. 24 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport event where Vice President Pence appeared. At least one person attended both of those events, and cases tied to the Duluth event were part of the same household, according to Ehresmann.
The state also traced two cases to attendees of Biden campaign events, including one from a Sept. 16 Duluth event. While another was initially reported from a person who attended a Sept. 22 event in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Park, state officials told The Hill that the Biden campaign later said no event took place in Brooklyn Park on that day.
Minnesota on Tuesday reported 1,537 new cases, the highest single-day figure since the beginning of the pandemic, according to The New York Times.
President Trump on Monday resumed large campaign rallies for the first time since he was diagnosed with the virus in early October. He traveled to Florida on Monday, and is also set to hold events in Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina this week.
Several cases of the virus have also been detected among Republicans and administration officials who attended Trump’s Rose Garden ceremony for the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court last month. Attendees who later tested positive included the president himself, Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel and former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.