Pres. Trump to hold rallies in Wisconsin areas labeled COVID-19 ‘red zones’ by White House task force


Supporters of President Donald Trump listen to him speak during a campaign rally at Central Wisconsin Airport, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Mosinee, Wis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – President Donald Trump will visit two metropolitan areas labeled as coronavirus “red zones” by the White House Coronavirus Task Force this weekend.

According to the Washington Post, the task force has provided Wisconsin recommendations “that call for increasing social distancing in the state ‘to the maximal degree possible.'”

La Crosse and Green Bay – the two locations Pres. Trump will visit on Oct. 3 – have been labeled coronavirus “red zones,” or the highest level of concern for community spread of COVID-19, by the task force.

The Washington Post reports that the task force document lists Wisconsin as having the third-highest rate of new cases in the country.

As of Sept. 25, the New York Times reports six Wisconsin metropolitan areas were among the top 20 in the nation seeing the greatest number of new coronavirus cases, relative to their population. Those include not only La Crosse and Green Bay, but the Oshkosh-Neenah area, Appleton, Platteville, and Stevens Point.

As of Sept. 30, there are two new Wisconsin metropolitan areas on that list – Marinette and Fond du Lac. Last week, the New York Times identified Marinette as one of five Wisconsin metropolitan areas in the top 20 in the nation as areas seeing new COVID-19 cases increasing fastest.

This week, three Wisconsin metropolitan areas are in the top five for areas seeing the greatest number of new coronavirus cases – the Oshkosh-Neenah area in second, Appleton in third, and Green Bay in fourth.

La Crosse comes in eighth, Platteville in 12th, Stevens Point in 16th, and Marinette and Fond du Lac at 19 and 20, respectively.

According to the CDC, Wisconsin reported over 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 over the last week – the third-highest in the nation behind Texas and California.

During a COVID-19 briefing on Sept. 29, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers was asked if there was anything that could be done ahead of Pres. Trump’s visit to the state in light of the increase in cases.

“Absolutely, the president could do two things,” says Gov. Evers. “Number one is he could not come. The second thing that could be done is for him to insist that if people are there, they wear a mask. He could make that happen, he could wear one too.”

Pres. Trump called wearing a mask “patriotic” and, during the first presidential debate in Cleveland, said he will “put a mask on when I think I need it.”

During the debate, Pres. Trump also claimed, falsely, that, “So far we have had no problem whatsoever” at his campaign rallies.

“It’s outside, that’s a big difference according to the experts. We have tremendous crowds,” the president says.

In late June, Trump held an indoor rally in Tulsa in late June, drawing both thousands of participants and large protests. The Tulsa City-County Health Department director said the rally “likely contributed” to a dramatic surge in new coronavirus cases there. By the first week of July, Tulsa County was confirming more than 200 new daily cases, setting record highs. That’s more than twice the number the week before the rally.

Pres. Trump’s visits to La Crosse and Green Bay – like his recent visits to Wisconsin in Mosinee and Oshkosh – will be held in airport hangars.

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