Health care workers in Michigan criticize Trump's rally amid record Covid cases

  • A group of Michigan-based health-care workers denounced President Donald Trump's planned rally in Lansing on Tuesday amid record new coronavirus cases.
  • Michigan was among 16 states reporting a record-high average in new Covid-19 cases on Monday, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • The health-care workers called said the rally "threatens to make things worse" and Trump's disregard for masks has signaled to his supporters that they don't have to wear them.

A group of Michigan-based health-care workers denounced President Donald Trump's planned rally in Lansing on Tuesday amid record daily new coronavirus cases, saying it "threatens to make things worse."

With only a week until the Nov. 3 election, Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are traveling to states across the U.S. in a final push to woo voters. Their approaches have differed, however, with Trump choosing to host large, crowded rallies that go against the advice of his top coronavirus advisors compared with Biden's drive-in events.

"It's a choice between a Trump boom or a Biden lockdown, but you're already locked down," Trump said to a packed crowd in Lansing, Mich. "It's a choice betwen our plan to kill the virus or Biden's plan to kill the American dream."

Trump, who was hospitalized with the coronavirus earlier this month and has since recovered, downplayed the outbreak in the White House as well as his own infection. His son Barron, who also tested positive, recovered in "about 12 minutes," Trump said.

Michigan was among 16 states reporting record-high daily new Covid-19 cases on Monday, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University that uses a weekly average to smooth out fluctuations in daily reporting. The state is now reporting roughly 2,220 new cases daily, a 22% increase compared with a week ago.

"Covid-19 is not disappearing. Trump's rally in Lansing only threatens to make things worse," said Dr. Stephanie Markle, a critical care surgeon in Kalamazoo and member of the Committee to Protect Medicare, during a press call organized by the Committee to Protect Medicare.

Amid climbing cases in Michigan, Markle said that her hospital has had to reopen Covid-19 units to prepare for additional patients. She said hospitals have their surge plans in place and "are bracing for the next wave that we know is already here."

"We are extremely concerned that the President's rallies will affect people in our communities. This will cause uncontrolled spread to worsen the pain and suffering we're already seeing across the state," she said.

Dr. Rob Davidson, an emergency room physician in west Michigan and the executive director of the Committee to Protect Medicare, criticized the president for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus and using his rallies to "hide the fact that he threw in the towel." .

"Those of us who see for ourselves what Covid-19 looks like up close with patients who can't breathe, know that Covid-19 is not going anywhere, anytime soon," Davidson said. He added that visitors and patients in his emergency department have grown frustrated when told they must wear a face covering.

"Every time he mocks people for wearing masks he signals to supporters that they shouldn't wear masks," Davidson said.

Trump's reelection team has previously defended the rallies, saying that they conduct temperature checks for attendees and providing them with hand sanitizer and masks upon entry, though they're not required to wear them.

A spokesperson for Trump's campaign was not immediately available for comment.

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