Coronavirus cases are spiking in Rock County, but the president is coming anyway.
President Donald Trump will appear at a Saturday fundraiser in Janesville, his re-election campaign announced Monday, just a week after he left hospital care for COVID-19.
The fundraiser, whose time and place in Janesville has not yet been announced, falls in line with Trump’s rush back to the public eye after his hospitalization left him on supplemental oxygen, a smorgasbord of experimental drugs, and a heavy steroid. White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said in a memo Saturday night that Trump is “no longer considered a transmission risk” and no longer shows symptoms, but Conley did not say if Trump has tested negative for coronavirus.
As is the case throughout much of Wisconsin, coronavirus cases are spiking in Janesville and the rest of Rock County, local health data shows. As of Sunday, there were 3,280 confirmed cases in the county, population about 165,000. Of those cases, 823 are active, and there are 26 people in the hospital, according to the local health department. Thirty-six people have died of the virus in Rock County.
Trump’s appearance will cap off a week of heavy campaigning in Wisconsin, with Eric Trump set to make appearances Monday in Menomonee Falls and Milton, Ivanka Trump set for a Tuesday appearance in Hilbert, and Vice President Mike Pence scheduled to speak in Waukesha on Tuesday.
Trump had to cancel two rallies scheduled in Wisconsin—one in Green Bay, one in Janesville—following his diagnosis.
The scramble comes just three weeks before the Nov. 3 election, which Trump is currently heavily favored to lose, according to well-respected election models from the Economist and FiveThirtyEight. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has consistently led Trump in polls in Wisconsin, a critical swing state, and the Trump campaign pulled advertising here throughout September though a pro-Trump political action committee has filled some of that vacuum with its own ad buy.
It is unclear what effect Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis has had on his re-election chances, according to poll analysis by FiveThirtyEight.
According to the event listing on the Trump campaign’s website, the Janesville fundraiser costs a minimum of $1,000 to attend per person. So-called VIP couples with expedited access to the President are being charged $15,000.
Positive COVID-19 tests have done little to deter Republicans from holding in-person fundraisers in enclosed spaces. For instance, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), attended an indoor fundraiser in Ozaukee County after taking a COVID-19 test but before he received the results that showed he had the virus. Johnson spoke maskless at the event.