Minnesota state officials say Trump campaign events to blame for two dozen Covid-19 cases (AFP via Getty Images)
Health officials in Minnesota have been able to trace two dozen coronavirus cases to Donald Trump campaign events in the past month.
State officials said 16 cases were tied to an outdoor rally at the airport in Bemidji, The New York Times reported, where Mr Trump addressed a packed and mostly maskless crowd on 18 September.
Of these, four cases were reported by people who went to protest outside the event, Kris Ehresmann, state infectious disease director, said on Monday.
Six other positive cases could be traced to two other Trump campaign events in September, officials added.
They included three people who attended a Trump rally in Duluth on 30 September, and three people who attended a rally with vice president Mike Pence at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on 24 September.
At least one person was said to have attended both the latter two Trump campaign events prior to a positive coronavirus test.
Ms Ehresmann cautioned that, despite those conclusions, state officials could not say conclusively whether all 24 cases were contracted at the three Trump campaign events.
State officials also connected one positive coronavirus case to an event in Duluth on 16 September which was held in support of the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden.
Mr Trump, who has claimed to be “immune” to the coronavirus following his diagnosis almost two weeks ago, has been routinely accused of putting peoples’ lives at risk with packed campaign rallies amid the pandemic.
Speaking last month, Biden campaign manager Jennifer O’Malley Dillon warned that “people will die” if the president’s supporters continued to attend events without masks or social distancing, Politico reported.
Following his return to in-person campaigning this week, Mr Trump is instead holding a series of campaign rallies in a number of battleground states including Florida, Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina.
On Saturday, Minnesota reported 1,537 new infections, its highest one-day total since the pandemic began.
Most of those cases were reported in Hennepin County and in Ramsey County, where Mr Trump held events last month.
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