Donald Trump held an overcrowded rally in steamy Tampa, Florida on Thursday. Fire officials report that 17 attendees needed medical attention and that dozens of others had to be taken to area hospitals.
The temperature during the event was 87-degrees. Trump spoke for less than an hour to the mostly maskless, not social distancing crowd outside of Raymond James Stadium.
The temperatures made the situation so bad that a fire truck sprayed water into the air over the top of rallygoers in an attempt to cool them down.
The water helped a bit, but the heat was just too much for some attendees.
The Tampa Fire Rescue said that one of the attendees fainted and another had a seizure. Several others were taken to the hospital. Their conditions were listed only as “sick” with no further details given.
The incident came on the heels of 30 people who needed medical care after a rally in Omaha, Nebraska. Hundreds of attendees were left stranded in freezing temperatures miles from their cars because the buses that brought them to the event failed to pick them up and return them to their vehicles. Several people were taken to the hospital treated for hypothermia and altered mental states.
One officer came across a group of nine elderly people who were so cold they were unable to move and were suffering from altered mental states.
The temperature was in the lower 30s with windchills bringing it down to 27 degrees.
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Trump’s campaign blamed the delay on “local road closures” that held up their shuttle buses.
“We always strive to provide the best guest experience at our events and we care about their safety,” the campaign said in a statement on Wednesday.
Joe Biden also held a drive in rally in Tampa much later in the day with close to 300 cars. He wrapped his speech up early because it began to rain.
“I’m going to shorten this for you all,” Biden told the crowd. “Get out of the rain!”
Trump should have wrapped things up much sooner and told his supporters to get out of the heat. But this isn’t the only Trump rally that’s been plagued by controversy lately.
In September, Donald Trump told a rally crowd in Minnesota of nearly all-white supporters that they have “good genes.” He even referenced the “racehorse theory,” that states some people are born genetically superior.
“You have good genes, you know that, right? You have good genes. A lot of it is about the genes, isn’t it, don’t you believe? The racehorse theory. You think we’re so different? You have good genes in Minnesota,” Trump stated in a state where many people are of Scandinavian descent.
Minnesota is roughly 79% white and Trump’s rally crowd truly reflected that.
During the rally, Trump also attacked refugees and celebrated the fact that a reporter had recently been shot in the knee with a rubber bullet fired by a police officer.
Social media users quickly pulled the alarm on Trump’s “good genes” comment. Many compared his statement to the Nazi obsession with the “master race.”
“As a historian who has written about the Holocaust, I’ll say bluntly: This is indistinguishable from the Nazi rhetoric that led to Jews, disabled people, LGBTQ, Romani, and others being exterminated. This is America 2020. This is where the GOP has taken us,” Steve Silberman, an author, and historian tweeted.
As a historian who has written about the Holocaust, I'll say bluntly: This is indistinguishable from the Nazi rhetoric that led to Jews, disabled people, LGBTQ, Romani and others being exterminated. This is America 2020. This is where the GOP has taken us. https://t.co/CHMLg804mp— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) September 20, 2020
Trump has repeatedly commented that “certain people” have superior genetics. He includes himself in that group. He’s even stated that his “tan” is a result of good genes.
“I have Ivy League education, smart guy, good genes. I have great genes and all that stuff which I’m a believer in,” Trump stated during a rally in Mississippi back in 2016.
“I’m a gene believer,” Trump stated during an interview back in 2010. “Hey, when you connect two racehorses you get usually end up with a fast horse.”
“I’m proud to have that German blood … Great stuff,” Trump stated in a documentary in 2014.
Trump has repeatedly rejected the idea that “all men are created equal.” He added that “some men are smart and some men aren’t.”
Back in May, Trump toured a Ford plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan. During the tour, he praised Henry Ford’s “good bloodlines.”