Stanford University research includes two Wisconsin events. Trump is returning to Kenosha.
Citing new data from Stanford University research, Wisconsin physicians made one last plea for President Donald Trump to stop holding rallies that have proven themselves to be threats to public health. Trump is scheduled to make a final stop in Kenosha at 6 p.m., the evening before Election Day.
“Physicians across Wisconsin have repeatedly begged President Trump to stop coming to states that are seeing COVID-19 spread like wildfire and to start taking this pandemic seriously,” said Dr. Robert Freedland, Wisconsin State Lead for the Committee to Protect Medicare and ophthalmologist in La Crosse. “When President Trump holds an in-person rally and packs people close together, with few people wearing masks, he is dishonoring the memory of the people we have lost to COVID-19 and he is exposing more families across Wisconsin to this disease.”
Wisconsin now has 1,018 new cases per 100,000, ranking it third-highest in the nation. Wisconsin’s seven-day average of positive cases is near 30%. Public health experts say communities can reopen when the rate is 5% or lower.
Last week, Wisconsin reported a record-breaking 5,262 cases in a single day Tuesday, and the most deaths in a day, at 64.
Beyond the proven physical threat to health, the physicians say Trump’s rallies are also harmful as a platform through which he is spreading misinformation.
“The more President Trump downplays COVID-19, the more he gives people a false sense of security, when we should all be redoubling our safety behaviors during this surge,” said Dr. Madelaine Tully, a family physician in Milwaukee.
The events that were studied include appearances by the president Aug. 18 in Oshkosh and Sept. 18 in Mosinee. In those two instances, the study says, “positivity rates rose sharply and quickly after the rally despite displaying no upward trend prior to the rally. For Marathon County, the increase in positivity rates started immediately after the rally and continued to climb sharply for several weeks. For Winnebago County, positivity rates roughly doubled over the first four weeks, and then continued to climb sharply.”
Testing did not rise immediately in either county, countering any assumption that wider testing is what led to the increase in cases.