President Trump held a rally at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska Tuesday night that was supposed to have about 10,000 in attendance but it ballooned to somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000.
The sheer number of people is shocking at a time when Nebraska is experiencing its biggest spike of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
"I don't know any better definition of a hot spot," University of Nebraska Medical Center Dr. Mark Rupp told 3 News Now.
Dear Omaha Look up! Trump is conducting an IQ test at your airport https://t.co/El39OPILpN— ☇RiotWomenn☇ (@☇RiotWomenn☇)1603837889.0
While the president's decision to hold a rally for tens of thousands in the middle of a pandemic is incredibly irresponsible, the event will be remembered for his campaign's nearly criminal negligence.
Organizers had the attendees park in lots that were up to four miles from the airfield where the speech was held. Then they bussed people to the event. The problem is that organizers had no plan of getting the attendees back to their cars after Trump's speech.
Their carelessness was made even worse by temperatures that dipped into the 20s.
"Is there any place you would rather be than a Trump rally on about a 10-degree evening?" the president asked from the podium.
The outside temperatures were so frigid that Trump's speech was a lot shorter than his usual rambling diatribes. Trump took the stage at around 8 pm and the event was over by 9 pm.
Trump's speech in Omaha is done in under an hour. I believe that's the shortest rally speech he's given since his r… https://t.co/I1RRXFlMMX— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1603850115.0
After Trump flew off in Air Force One, the busses that dropped the attendees off didn't return to pick them up. "President Trump took off in Air Force One 1 hr 20 minutes ago, but thousands of his supporters remain stranded on a dark road outside the rally," CNN reporter Jeff Zeleny tweeted at 10:21 pm.
President Trump took off in Air Force One 1 hr 20 minutes ago, but thousands of his supporters remain stranded on a… https://t.co/0HHEE9Ut0W— Jeff Zeleny (@Jeff Zeleny)1603855302.0
Some waited for transportation to arrive at the airfield while others walked up to four miles in the freezing cold to get to their cars. Reports show that at least nine people needed to be taken to the hospital due to the extreme weather and 30 were contacted for medical reasons.
⚠️BREAKING—Elderly attendees at Trump’s Omaha MAGA rally being treated for *hypothermia* after AF1 departs. Attende… https://t.co/NyO9B8kU7P— Eric Feigl-Ding (@Eric Feigl-Ding)1603862039.0
Police officers at the scene were able to help some people back to their cars, but the lots weren't cleared until 1 am the next morning.
Trump Fans Left Stranded In The Cold For Hours After Omaha Rally https://t.co/fwwJC6Lrlj https://t.co/3uPEhfZFmS— Talking Points Memo (@Talking Points Memo)1603886989.0
Hey Billy McFarland....nice collab with Trump for the 2020 Fyre and Ice Fest. https://t.co/EEpGeY7Nhk— Sarah Lackenbauer (@Sarah Lackenbauer)1603910838.0
Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb saw the event as a metaphor for how Trump's entire presidency.
"Leaving hundreds of Nebraskans stranded in the cold captures the entire Trump administration. I hope those responsible for the poor planning to feed Trump's ego will be held accountable and that fellow Nebraskans turn out to vote to end this chaos," Kleeb said in a statement.
We drove 4 hours to see President Trump speak, and it was disappointing how their shuttle system was not there when we had to leave. We walked 3 miles to get back to our car and it's very disheartening to hear about those who were badly effected. An explanation would be nice. pic.twitter.com/qdaH20RS0w
— Jonathon Sundet (@realJonSundet) October 28, 2020
It was wrong for the president's campaign to abandon so many people in the cold, but it was clear they didn't care about the health of their supporters in the first place. After all, they chose to have a super-spreader event with tens of thousands of people in the middle of a pandemic.
The organizers' carelessness has drawn comparisons to Fyre Fest, the fraudulent luxury music festival that left people stranded on a Bahamian island three years ago.
@jeffzeleny Introducing the organizers of Trump's Omaha rally https://t.co/HN0MPU1Qsv— 🚐 VOTE EARLY IN PERSON (@🚐 VOTE EARLY IN PERSON)1603858534.0
Someone just described the Trump Omaha rally debacle as Fyre Fest with COVID. #COVID #TrumpRallyOmaha #VoteHimOut— Lindsey. 🎃👻 (@Lindsey. 🎃👻)1603887503.0
@rmayemsinger The Trump Fyre Fest, in Nebraska: "Come for the Covid 19. Stay for the hypothermia."— W.J.Wylie3 is shakin' on shakedown street (@W.J.Wylie3 is shakin' on shakedown street)1603872891.0
The event also inspired some pretty hilarious memes.
7) Trump Omaha MAGA rally... summed up best by Oregon Trail. https://t.co/ipTTIag5F1— Eric Feigl-Ding (@Eric Feigl-Ding)1603865110.0
Before and after Trumps Omaha rally debacle. https://t.co/fLhtS6K3kV— Victoria Woodhull (@Victoria Woodhull)1603863495.0
Small party of Trump’s abandoned Omaha rally-goers spotted https://t.co/MvImJaqNIp— Philip Gourevitch (@Philip Gourevitch)1603890058.0
ANTIFA forces rescuing survivors of operation Trumprally freezedumb. Omaha, NE ca. 2020 https://t.co/pi7xGJNJ66— Sir Patrick James (@Sir Patrick James)1603906731.0
@richardhine We now go live to the scene of Trump's Omaha rally aftermath. https://t.co/woykgI4q3M— Smirnoff and Sprite (@Smirnoff and Sprite)1603868088.0
I attended Trump's rally in Omaha and all I got was this lousy T-shirt. https://t.co/Uzj3A6K5gE— Pernickety Panda (@Pernickety Panda)1603880422.0
@OhNoSheTwitnt Pictured: Trump supporters attending rally in Omaha. #Cultsicles https://t.co/QNQjrDerhY— Wallace Ritchie (@Wallace Ritchie)1603890578.0
@omaha_scanner Live footage of a trumper leaving the trump rally... ❄❄❄❄❄ https://t.co/9FevfCvoh6— 🌊❄️🆘🏳️🌈 Dexter (@🌊❄️🆘🏳️🌈 Dexter)1603860337.0
Trump supporters out there watching as Trump left his Omaha rally. https://t.co/vj0iOjMUBe— Jermaine Watkins ✍🏾 (@Jermaine Watkins ✍🏾)1603866362.0
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