- President Donald Trump said on Friday he would continue to hold 2020 campaign rallies in spite of growing fears over the spread of coronavirus.
- “Doesn’t bother me at all,” Trump said when asked by a reporter if he’s worried about the risk of having so many people stand so close together.
- But there are currently no rallies scheduled, according to the Trump campaign’s website.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump has continued to hold 2020 campaign rallies amid growing fears over the novel coronavirus, which has led major events like SXSW to be cancelled, and on Friday signaled that he has no intention of stopping.
As he visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, a reporter asked Trump if he’d consider holding off on future rallies due to concerns over the virus.
“I haven’t had any problems filling them. We just had one in North Carolina, South Carolina, all of the place and we have tens of thousands of people standing outside of the arena,” Trump said.
When pressed on whether he thought it was a risk to have that many people standing close together, Trump replied, “Doesn’t bother me at all, and it doesn’t bother them at all.”
—Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) March 6, 2020
Trump has had about half a dozen rallies in the past month, often occurring in states holding Democratic primary contests as a form of counter-programming or “trolling,” as the president recently described it.
“We like to troll, we like to go the night before one of their primaries. We do a little trolling. It’s called we do a little trolling,” Trump said on Monday.
Though Trump on Friday signaled he would not halt rallies because of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, there are currently none on the calendar. “No rallies scheduled,” Trump’s 2020 campaign website said as of Friday evening.
It’s unclear if this is due to the novel coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, and has spread to dozens of other countries. More than 100,000 people have been infected and over 3,400 have died from the virus, including 15 in the US.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Though it’s clear many Americans are concerned about coronavirus, the CDC’s website states: “For most of the American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.”