Wisconsin doctors, public officials ask Trump not to host rallies Saturday, cite COVID-19 concerns

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A group of Wisconsin doctors joined the mayor of La Crosse, and Gov. Tony Evers Thursday, in urging President Donald Trump to reconsider his weekend rallies in the state.

“Holding mass rallies that attract thousands of people while COVID-19 cases go through the roof will put people’s health at risk,” La Crosse Ophthalmologist Dr. Bob Freedland said.

The White House countered criticism over outdoor rallies Thursday, saying doctors do not seem to mind large-scale outdoor gatherings for racial justice protests.

“There really seems to be two standards of health in this country," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said. "One for Trump supporters, and one for everyone else. So it’s vital if you're protesting, but somehow political speech is no longer vital when it comes to a Trump supporter.”

Wisconsin doctors on the Thursday press call argued the two gatherings are different because they think protesters are more conscious of COVID-19.

“These are almost always uniformly masked, and outdoors with attempts to social distance, whereas Trump at some of his rallies have suggested people remove their mask, and gather closer together,” Brookfield Neurologist Dr. Ann Helms said.

Trump Campaign Deputy National Press Secretary Courtney Parella sent CBS 58 the following statement:

“Americans are enthusiastic for President Trump’s re-election, and they want to and have a right to gather under the First Amendment to hear from the President of the United States. For the President’s outdoor events in Wisconsin, like his other campaign events, everyone attending will receive a temperature check, be provided a mask they are encouraged to wear and have access to plenty of hand sanitizer.”


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