Opinion | The reckless Des Moines Rally illustrates Trump’s incompetence on COVID-19

There was a massive surge of COVID-19 cases in Des Moines after the rally — sadly and predictably.


Hannah Kinson

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020 at the Des Moines International Airport. Thousands of people showed up to hear President Trump speak about his campaign and support Iowa republicans for the upcoming election.

Hannah Pinski, Opinions Columnist

It still dumbfounds me how some people seem to forget that we are still in a pandemic. Who do I mean by some people? Our president and his supporters.

On October 14th, Trump decided to host a rally at the Des Moines International Airport packed with supporters with inconsistent mask wearing and little social distancing.

Since October 18th, four days after the rally, cases have climbed from 636 news cases on October 18th to 1,798 as of October 22nd.

Des Moines had already been labeled as a yellow zone by the White House Coronavirus Task Force which means gatherings should be kept to less than 25 people. 

However, that didn’t stop Trump from packing the airport with thousands of people arguing that attending this rally was a matter of “personal freedom.”

This rally is just one example of Trump’s incompetence that proves he is unfit to be our ‘president.’We are never going to stop this pandemic if we have a leader who is making irresponsible decisions and statements that contribute to the spread of the virus that has caused over 200,000 deaths. 

Trump never had a grasp from tackling the virus since the very beginning. When the first positive case was confirmed on January 20th, the statement he made was ‘we have it under control’.  How do you explain then the continuous spike in cases from March to April? How does 80,000 deaths by the month of May show you ‘have it under control.’ 

It doesn’t. Trump never took enough action in the beginning, and now the American people are paying the price. Instead of acknowledging his failure and taking better action, he continued to reiterate ‘it’s going to go away.’ Well, we are in October, and guess what? It hasn’t gone away because that’s not how a pandemic works. 

It’s bad enough that Trump didn’t take proper action, but it’s worse now that he is continuing scientists and proper safety precautions and other Americans are following his poor example. 

During the first presidential debate, Trump made a joke about Biden’s mask-wearing habits. The CDC recommends mask-wearing whenever people are going out to public places because it has been proven that they help reduce the spread of the virus.

Instead of using common sense and having empathy for other people, Trump decided to turn face masks into a political issue. He has continuously questioned the effectiveness despite scientific evidence and refused to wear one until July when the virus was at its peak. 

How about the fact that Trump tested positive for COVID-19 and hosted a nomination ceremony at the Rose Garden which became a superspreader event? Again, a classic example of something we shouldn’t be doing, yet Trump thinks he is an exception to science.

What made it worse is when Trump downplayed the virus and said that people shouldn’t be afraid. The fact is not everyone in America has the same access to top medical treatment like he does, and by downplaying the seriousness he has insulted every single family who has lost someone from COVID-19 and survivors who had to fight for their lives.

We are never going to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic if we have someone who isn’t leading by example. Trump had his chance, and he blew it. The large events, lack of mask-wearing, and downplay of the virus is unacceptable. On Nov. 3rd, it’s time to choose someone who’s going to listen to science and has a plan for what’s best for the American people. 

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.