The director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Tom Inglesby, said on Sunday that the President’s rally met several criteria for increased risk of transmitting the virus. This was Trump’s first rally since the coronavirus pandemic broke out.
“I thought the rally was concerning in terms of public health risk,” Inglesby said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The highest-risk gatherings are those that are large, indoors and where people can’t stay apart from each other six feet and where people travel from out of town and this rally met all of those criteria.”
“People were sitting quite close to each other, I didn’t see many people wearing masks, people [were] handshaking without hand-sanitizer, lots of shouting, all of those things will increase the risk of spread,” Inglesby added.
Chris Wallace from Fox News asked whether there was “hypocrisy” in public health experts’ attitudes toward the rally. This was in comparison to the concerns regarding protests that are sweeping the nation ever since the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis.
“I am worried about that, I know that many people in the public health community are worried about a chance for a big health event,” Inglesby said. “They shouldn’t depend on [the politics of] the gathering that’s being held.”
However, he added, “I think it’s more than a little bit different than having a large indoor gathering … We know that outdoor risks are less than indoor risks and if people can maintain their space then that will help but certainly I think there is a risk for large-scale protesting as well.”