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Trump’s “Strong” Campaign Encourages Face Masks at Outdoor Rally in New Hampshire.

A young boy is wearing a Trump 2020 mask and red hat.  He is surrounded by others in similar gear.
A young supporter wears a Trump 2020 mask while listening to President Donald Trump during a rally at the BOK Center on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Nicholas Kamm / Getty Images

President Donald Trump will host an outdoor rally in New Hampshire next weekend, as his campaign announced on Sunday. After the recent events hosted by the President, where face masks were clearly missing, face masks were distributed in the campaign and their use was “strongly recommended” among the participants. “There will be ample access to hand disinfectants and all participants will be given a face mask that they should wear,” said the campaign’s press release. Before his rally in Tulsa last month, Trump had particularly refused to support the use of face masks. “I recommend people do what they want,” he said.

The President’s rally will gather supporters at Portsmouth International Airport and is the first campaign event for the President since the sparsely attended event in Tulsa last month. Several campaign staff and secret service personnel have tested positive for the corona virus since this rally. On Friday, Kimberly Guilfoyle, the friend of Trump’s eldest son and one of the best fundraisers for the campaign, tested positive for the virus. She had attended the Tulsa rally. Her diagnosis was hospitalized with the coronavirus days after the hospitalization of Herman Cain, the former Republican president who also attended the rally.

There were few face masks on Friday when Trump spoke to a lot of followers on Mount Rushmore. There also seemed to be no effort to socially distance one of the participants. The next day at the White House, few who had attended Independence Day celebrations wore masks.

A crowd is seen in an arena.
Supporters listen to Trump on Friday during Independence Day events at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota.
Saul Loeb / Getty Images

The rally in New Hampshire will take place in one of the few states where the number of coronavirus cases has decreased. A total of 39 states have seen an increase in coronavirus cases, and 15 states have seen record increases this month, as some areas are struggling with an increase that officials warn is difficult to manage. Hospitals in Houston, for example, could be overwhelmed in about two weeks, if the cases continue to increase, warned the city mayor. “The number of people who get sick and go to hospitals has increased exponentially. The number of people in our beds in the intensive care unit has increased exponentially, ”said Mayor Sylvester Turner at CBS Face the nation. “If we don’t get this virus under control quickly, our hospital system could run into serious, serious problems in about two weeks.” The mayor of Austin, Texas, Steve Adler, made a similar diagnosis for CNNs State of the nation. “If we don’t change this trajectory, I’ll be within two weeks of our hospitals overflowing,” he said.

The Mayors of Austin and Houston were among the local leaders who attributed the flood of cases to early reopening and normal life recovery. “There is no doubt that when we reopened, people started making contacts as if the virus didn’t exist,” said Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez. “It is extremely worrying.”

For more information on Slate’s reporting, see What Next: TBD.

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