Donald Trump hosted his first indoor rally since June, in open defiance of state regulations and his own administration’s pandemic health guidelines. He told nearly mask-less Nevada crowd that the country was “making the last turn” in overcoming the infection. Trump soaked up the boisterous cheers inside a warehouse Sunday night after projecting a sense of normalcy in imagery. Comparatively, few in the crowd wore masks. There was a clear exception to the people who were mandated to wear face coverings, those who stood directly behind Trump, whose images would end up on TV. Not until a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that was accused of a surging infection has he gathered supporters indoors.
The US president said they were not shutting the country again as it would destroy the lives and dreams of millions of Americans. Trump added that they would very easily defeat the “China virus.” Besides, the rally in Tulsa was a disaster for the campaign. Herman Cain, a prominent Trump supporter at the rally, businessman, and former presidential candidate died of COVID-19 weeks later. However, it was not clear whether he contracted the virus in Tulsa. Trump campaign moved to hold smaller, outdoor rallies, usually at airplane hangers, after recognizing that many supporters were uncomfortable to gather in a large group indoors.
On Sunday, in part as a nod to the Las Vegas-area heat, supporters returned indoors. While masks were encouraged, temperature checks were provided to all upon entrance at the industrial site in Henderson. Since May, Steve Sisolak, Nevada Gov., a Democrat, has restricted in-person gatherings indoors and outdoors to 50 people. Sisolak said Trump was “taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada. To put it bluntly: he didn’t have the guts to make tough choices. He left that to governors and the states. Now he’s decided he doesn’t have to respect our State’s laws. As usual, he doesn’t believe the rules apply to him.”
Campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said if one can join tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets, gamble in a casino, or burn down small businesses in riots, one can gather peacefully under the 1st Amendment to hear from the President of the United States. To this point, the campaign has been played out as a referendum on the President’s handling of the coronavirus. Americans have criticized Trump’s leadership by wide margins because the country has suffered more deaths than any other nation. Thus, the President’s campaign believes it needs to change the subject and project the sense. Part of the plan is to make images of normalcy.
Trump, in his rambling speech, seemed to endorse extrajudicial killings for those who target police officers, praised various UFC fighters in attendance, and considered on mandatory prison sentences for flag burning. He also unleashed a series of attacks on Biden. Nonetheless, Trump contemplated, as he was complaining about the media’s coverage: “Maybe he’ll win because they don’t like me, they don’t like my personality.” The crowd responded with a loud, “We love you” chant. Trump has mostly been silent on the blazes that have claimed dozens of lives in Oregon and California. He aimed for further inroads with Latinos on Sunday.
Trump’s campaign is growing confidence that he has won some support that could help in Florida, Arizona, and Nevada. However, he had made scores of inflammatory and derogatory comments about Latinos. Last’s weekend target in winning support from Latinos had been an uphill climb for Trump. He declared that many Mexican immigrants were “rapists” in the first moments of his 2016 campaign. Besides, he has drawn criticism for his policies to separate children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border and his efforts to dismantle an Obama-era program and his tepid response to a hurricane that ravaged Puerto Rico. He tailored his pitch to Latinos, observing their low unemployment rate before COVID-19 and affirming his anti-abortion stance.