A former Trump supporter’s advocacy group is erecting billboards near the president’s rallies, dubbing them COVID-19 “superspreader” events and claiming they’re causing concern for residents of rural communities.
Christopher Gibbs, an Ohio farmer, voted for President Trump in 2016 but now argues that the trade war with China has hurt his industry and that Trump’s rallies are endangering public health.
As president of advocacy group Rural America 2020, a “non-profit that advocates for policies that benefit agriculture,” Gibbs says he is fighting to fix issues that most affect rural communities. The group has erected billboards that read “Trump COVID superspreader event” with an arrow in multiple states where he has campaigned, including Iowa and Georgia.
“Rural health care is extremely important,” Gibbs said in an CNN interview on Wednesday. “So what we did with the billboards was to start that conversation. It’s true that these were superspreader events and that’s scaring the dickens out of folks in these rural areas.”
A Farm Futures poll from September showed that three-quarters of U.S. farmers plan to vote for Trump in the upcoming election.
The president’s large public rallies stand in contrast to anti-coronavirus recommendations from his own administration. His Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, has largely taken his campaign virtual.