Virginia health official seeks to stop Friday Trump rally

A Virginia health official is seeking to block a planned campaign rally for President Trump on Friday evening, citing a “severe public health threat.”

Natasha Dwamena, district director for the Department of Public Health, wrote in a letter Thursday the rally would break Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) executive order that generally bans gatherings larger than 250 people, The Associated Press reported.

She addressed the letter to a private company that leases the aircraft hangar where the rally is slated to take place.

The rally Friday is expected to draw nearly 4,000 attendees, as Dwamena argues the event should be scaled down or canceled to comply with Northam’s order.

“The rally poses a concerning public health risk,” Dwamena said in the letter, adding that airport officials in the state are reminded they have “the authority to enforce” Virginia’s laws.

Still, Dwamena’s call will likely carry no weight on the decision for the rally to take place, as Trump’s campaign rally spree has flouted many public health guidelines intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The campaign has said it takes appropriate health precautions when hosting populated rallies, such as handing out masks, sanitizers and checking attendees’ temperatures.

Radio host and chairman of the Virginia delegation for the Trump campaign, John Fredericks, said Democrats are attempting to block the Friday rally for political reasons.

“Panic has set in amongst Virginia Democrats,” Fredericks said.

Dwamena mentioned in her letter reports of Trump campaign rallygoers flouting pandemic restrictions by attending without a mask, though some attendees have opted to wear MAGA face coverings to the events.

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