Brushing off virus restrictions, Trump holds first indoor rally since June

Ignoring Coronavirus restrictions imposed by the state of Nevada on the size of indoor gatherings, President Donald Trump on Sunday night delighted his supporters by holding an inside rally for the first time since mid-June, declaring that it’s the First Amendment right of people to gather to hear his re-election pitch.

“You have a Governor right now who is a political hack,” the President said, as he denounced virus restrictions.

“Tell your Governor to open up your state,” Mr. Trump said to a thunderous cheer.

Capping a weekend of events in the Silver State, the President defended his handling of the virus outbreak, just days after new audio tapes from reporter Bob Woodward showed the President acknowledging that he had downplayed the severity of the virus threat.

“We have done an incredible job,” the President said of his administration.

Nevada’s Governor - Democrat Steve Sisolak - blistered the President’s decision to host his first indoor rally since a June 20 gathering in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“At a time when Nevada is focused on getting our economy back on track and protecting public health, the President’s actions this weekend are shameful, dangerous and irresponsible,” Gov. Sisolak said.

“This is an insult to every Nevadan who has followed the directives, made sacrifices, and put their neighbors before themselves,” the Governor added.

Before the doors had opened to the public, the Trump Campaign argued there was no reason the President should be barred from holding events which not only flout Coronavirus rules from states like Nevada, but also go against the recommendations of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

“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 First Amendment to hear from the President of the United States,” campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said in a statement.

Violations of the Coronavirus restrictions in Nevada do not involve a stiff penalty.

The area where the rally was held - in Henderson, Nevada - is located in a county which is classified by the White House Coronavirus Task Force as a ‘red zone,’ which means over 10 percent of all Coronavirus tests are coming back positive.

In those ‘red zone’ counties, the Task Force recommends nothing close to a campaign rally, urging those areas to ‘limit social gatherings to ten people or fewer.’

Jamie Dupree, CMG Washington News Bureau

Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau