A doctor is slamming President Donald Trump for holding an indoor campaign rally as the nation continues to combat COVID-19.
Dr. Jonathan Reiner, CNN medical analyst and professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, said ahead of Trump’s rally on Sunday night that it is “negligent homicide” to hold the campaign event inside amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On CNN Sunday evening, the host mentioned Reiner’s previous remarks calling Trump’s indoor rally in June “criminal endangerment” when the U.S. had 2.2 million COVID-19 cases reported.
With over 6.7 million confirmed cases now, the doctor was asked regarding the indoor rally what it is called now.
“Negligent homicide,” Reiner responded. “What else could you call an act that because of its negligence results in the deaths of others?”
He continued, “If you have a mass gathering now in the United States in a place like Nevada or just about any other place with hundreds of thousands of people, people will get infected and some of those people will die.”
Reiner went on to discuss “whether the president played down the risks of this virus” to Americans, adding that if someone took the virus “seriously,” then “you would never hold an indoor rally or almost any rally now and particularly one that doesn’t enforce very strict rules on masks.”
“People will die as a consequence of this. I think Nevada has a law right now limiting gatherings to more than 50 people. So, the president is just defying that. Makes no sense.”
Watch the video below:
“Negligent homicide. What else could you call an act that because of its negligence results in the deaths of others? …People will die as a consequence of this.” —@JReinerMD on the impact of President Trump holding an indoor rally tonight. pic.twitter.com/nLpinuJrzr— Ana Cabrera (@AnaCabrera) September 13, 2020
In Henderson, Nevada, there is a ban on gatherings of 50 people or more. Trump’s rally also drew criticism from the state’s governor.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) called the rally “reckless and selfish” for “putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada.”
“The President appears to have forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global pandemic,” he tweeted.
See the thread below:
Tonight, President Donald Trump is taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada.— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) September 14, 2020
The President appears to have forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global pandemic.— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) September 14, 2020
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.— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) September 14, 2020
This is an insult to every Nevadan who has followed the directives, made sacrifices, and put their neighbors before themselves. It’s also a direct threat to all of the recent progress we’ve made, and could potentially set us back.— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) September 14, 2020
That means limiting gathering sizes, mandating face coverings and practicing social distancing. All of which the President recklessly disregarded for his own gain this weekend in Nevada.— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) September 14, 2020
I want to thank the local governments – like the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority and the City of Henderson – who have done all they could to ensure businesses and visitors follow the state COVID-19 directives.— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) September 14, 2020
Additionally, 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden released a statement regarding the rally.
“If Donald Trump cared at all about curbing this virus and protecting the safety of his supporters, he wouldn’t hold events like this, but Trump doesn’t and he won’t,” Biden said.
See the statement below:
Joe Biden’s campaign is responding to Trump’s indoor rally tonight saying, “If Donald Trump cared at all about curbing this virus and protecting the safety of his supporters, he wouldn't hold events like this, but Trump doesn't and he won't.” from @MichaelJGwin pic.twitter.com/en7znxwmza— Sarah Mucha (@sarahmucha) September 14, 2020
However, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh pushed back against the criticism, as he told The Washington Post, “If you can join tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets, gamble in a casino, or burn down small businesses in riots, you can gather peacefully under the 1st Amendment to hear from the President of the United States.”
Murtaugh also said that there were temperature checks, options for hand sanitizer, and masks were provided and encouraged.
In the state of Nevada, there are over 73,000 reported coronavirus cases and more than 1,400 deaths due to the virus. The state’s new daily cases spiked in July but have since seen a decrease in the number of cases. There has been a 41% decrease in the average cases per day over the previous weeks compared to the two weeks prior.