Trump campaign says 10,000 expected at Des Moines rally as COVID-19 hospitalizations in Iowa hit a new high

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Billboard near Des Moines International Airport, Oct. 13, 2020. — courtesy Rural America 2020

As preparations for President Donald Trump’s campaign rally at the Des Moines International Airport got underway on Wednesday morning, the Biden campaign released a statement about Trump’s decision to hold the rally as community spread of COVID-19 continues to cause numbers of new cases in Iowa to surge.

Iowa has been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, with cases surpassing 100,000 this week and COVID-19 hospitalizations hitting a new high. But President Trump isn’t coming to the Hawkeye State to offer words of comfort to those suffering, or a helping hand to the Iowans who are out of a job, or an actual plan to get the virus under control. Instead, he’s here to spread more lies about the pandemic and distract from his record of failure.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported another 1,180 Iowans had tested positive for COVID-19 during the 24-hour period ending at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, including 12 residents of Johnson County and 61 residents of Linn County.

The newly reported cases brought the total number of confirmed cases in Iowa since March 8 to 101,812.

IDPH also reported during the same period that another 11 Iowans had died from the virus. A resident of Linn County was among the deceased. As of 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Iowa’s COVID-19 death toll stood at 1,492, according to IDPH.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 hit another new high on Wednesday, with 473 inpatients reported by IDPH at 10 a.m. Seventy-four of those patients were admitted within the last 24 hours, and 106 of them are being treated in intensive care units.

In the most recent White House Coronavirus Task Force report on Iowa released by IDPH — which noted Polk County, where Des Moines is located, had the highest number of new cases during the previous week — warned that Iowa’s failure to control community spread of COVID-19 had led to “many preventable deaths.” Following this report, Gov. Kim Reynolds said she had no plans to take further actions to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Reynolds will be at the Trump rally in Des Moines, which is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. She has also been encouraging as many Iowans as possible to attend the rally to “Protect Iowa’s future and show your support for President Trump!”

The Trump campaign has said it expects 10,000 people to attend the rally. The White House Coronavirus Task Force recommends public gatherings in areas experiencing the rate of new cases seen in Des Moines to be limited to 25 people or fewer.

Plans for the rally, which was first announced on Saturday, inspired the nonprofit group Rural America 2020 to rent a billboard near the airport to alert people to the site of what it calls a “Trump COVID Superspeader Event.”

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