President has not held in-person rally since 2 March
- Advisers weighing where and how rallies can take place
Lois Beckett and agencies – The Guardian
Trump at a law enforcement roundtable at the White House on Monday. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock
Donald Trump plans to start holding campaign rallies in person again in the next two weeks, despite the coronavirus pandemic continuing in the US and experts warning about the public health dangers of crowding at events.
The president has not held an election rally since 2 March in Charlotte, North Carolina, as cases of coronavirus in the US began to increase.
Trump’s campaign advisers are still determining where the rallies will take place and what safety measures will be implemented, depending on the type of venue chosen, Politico reported on Monday, adding that campaign manager Brad Parscale is expected to present Trump with possibilities within the next few days.
Aides describe Trump as champing at the bit to get out and start campaigning again ahead of the 3 November US presidential election.
An official, confirming Politico’s report, said safety measures for attendees were still being worked out.
In a statement, Parscale predicted Trump rallies will surpass those of his Democrat rival for the White House, Joe Biden, whose campaigning has also been sharply curtailed due to the virus in recent months, but who is leading the president in several recent polls.
Trump is under pressure to reverse his tumbling prospects for re-election, and is counting on a rebound in the US economy, which was rocked by the global pandemic.
He also is grappling with mass protests that erupted after George Floyd died on 25 May after a white police officer knelt on his neck.
Experts have warned of the risks of protesters contracting Covid-19, as social distancing has often fallen by the wayside during demonstrations and marches, as well as police and demonstrators often being seen not wearing masks.
There is a lower risk of spreading the virus person to person outdoors, and there is no word yet on whether Trump will resume rallies at indoor or outdoor venues.
Mark Knoller (@markknoller)
In many ways, Pres Trump engaged in campaign rally rhetoric during speeches to workers he addressed recently in AZ, PA, MI, @NASA and ME. Even used his campaign rally music at start and finish of his speeches.
Trump has already sparked a row over his assertion that he will seek a new state to host this summer’s Republican national convention after North Carolina refused to guarantee the event could be held in Charlotte without size restrictions because of ongoing concerns over the pandemic.
The president has lobbied for a full-scale convention without face coverings, despite the threat of the virus.
Trump has already veered into electioneering during recent work trips and during previous coronavirus briefings and now wants to get back on the road as a candidate.