Nine people who attended Trump rally in Minnesota contracted coronavirus

Nine people who attended a campaign rally for President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign raises over M on day of VP debate Trump chastises Whitmer for calling him ‘complicit’ in extremism associated with kidnapping scheme Trump says he hopes to hold rally Saturday despite recent COVID-19 diagnosis MORE in Bemidji, Minn., last month have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Health officials confirmed to MPR News that of the nine who contracted COVID-19, two have been hospitalized, one of whom required intensive care.

It is not immediately clear that the people contracted the virus at the rally. 

The Minnesota Department of Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The news is just the latest in a string of negative developments for the White House; as Trump himself was treated over the weekend after his own coronavirus diagnosis, a burgeoning number of White House staffers, campaign aides and outside advisers also tested positive. 

Many of the individuals who have tested positive attended a Sept. 26 event at the White House where Trump announced the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The event was held outside, but many people in the crowded audience did not wear masks. 

“Well, I think the data speak for themselves. We had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks,” Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by Facebook – Pence, Harris spar over COVID-19 during policy-focused debate Eric Trump claims his father ‘literally saved Christianity’ Overnight Health Care: Trump works from Oval Office after COVID-19 diagnosis | GOP frustrated by Trump’s messages on aid | Eli Lilly asks for emergency authorization of antibody treatment MORE, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, said Friday. 

Democrats tore into the Trump campaign over the Minnesota news, directly blaming the president for the infections.

“From the start of this pandemic, Donald Trump and Minnesota Republicans have ignored public health experts and put their re-elections ahead of the health of Minnesotans. It was only a matter of time until the dangerous, maskless campaign events staged by Donald Trump and Minnesota Republicans landed Minnesotans in the hospital,” Ken Martin, chairman of Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, said in a statement.

The news is unlikely to deter the campaign from continuing its events, with Trump set to hold a rally at the White House on Saturday and in Florida on Monday. 

“Tying these cases to an outdoor event that occurred three weeks ago, where hand sanitizer and face masks were supplied, is a stretch,” campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh told The Hill. “We wish them all speedy recoveries.”

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