When the initial reports emerged that individuals attending President Donald Trump’s Minnesota rallies were testing positive for the coronavirus, Democratic condemnation was swift.
But now, Minnesota officials report that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign has been linked to a positive case of the virus.
In addition, several counterprotesters who attended a Trump rally have also tested positive, according to KBJR-TV.
The one confirmed case connected with the Biden campaign came during the former vice president’s trip to Duluth on Sept. 18, even though Biden delivered his speech without a crowd present.
From the Republican side, the state reported that three people, two from the same house, tested positive after attending a Sept. 30 rally in Duluth, while four new cases have been documented from a Bemidji rally on Sept. 18. All told, 12 people at the massive Bemidji rally have tested positive for the virus.
Four counterprotesters at the Bemidji rally tested positive for the virus, officials said.
The state also announced that three people who attended a rally for Vice President Mike Pence have tested positive.
Both Minnesota Democrats and Biden’s campaign seized on the news of the positive tests from Trump’s rallies.
“As Joe Biden has said, the presidency is the duty to care,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told Politico.
“Donald Trump has utterly failed in that duty, lying about this deadly threat to the American people from the very beginning while mismanaging the response — and willingly exposing his own supporters to the pandemic for his own optical gratification.”
Ken Martin, chairman of Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, said in a prepared statement, “It was only a matter of time until the dangerous, mask-less campaign events staged by Donald Trump and Minnesota Republicans landed Minnesotans in the hospital.”
Kris Ehresmann, the state’s infectious disease director, has noted that not all positive cases were necessarily contracted at campaign events.
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh echoed that sentiment. “Tying these cases to an outdoor event that occurred three weeks ago, where hand sanitizer and face masks were supplied, is a stretch,” he said.
Prior to the candidates visiting the state, Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz had urged both campaigns to respect the state’s social distancing rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to KTSP-TV.
“As the election nears, Minnesotans look forward to hearing from political candidates about their vision for our state and country,” Walz wrote.
“That includes visits from both of your presidential campaigns this week. While we welcome the opportunity for Minnesotans to participate in democracy, we ask that your events comply with our state’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.”
“Partner with us in the fight against COVID-19,” the governor concluded.
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