“Freedom in America is at stake,” Fonseca said. “We wanted to support Donald Trump and everything he’s talking about.”
Thousands of Trump supporters braved a light rain at Lancaster Airport, just north of the city, where the rally was held. It was one of three rallies for the US president in Pennsylvania on Monday as he crossed the state in a last-ditch effort to retain the state’s 20 electoral college votes.
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Susan Leeming was another participant. Claiming to have been a longtime Democrat until Donald Trump got into politics, she says she took the day off for the rally.
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The most important thing happening in the country is the November 3 US election, she said.
“I’m happy to be here,” said Leeming. “This is my second rally and I pray to God that he wins.”
Audra King, on the other hand, admits that the past four years have been so tumultuous that she has considered not supporting Trump. The retired veteran says she voted for Barack Obama in the past, but will not support her former vice president.
“The Democrats haven’t really given us an option,” King said. “If they had had someone more suitable, I probably would have changed the vote.”
King’s husband Merv says his vote strongly supports the Republican candidate.
“Trump is a businessman,” Merv said. “He’s getting things done. Biden has been there for 47 years. What did he do? Nothing. “
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Both outside and inside, it was side by side during the event. About half of the crowd at the rally wore masks, but there was no physical distancing. On arrival, people were placed in a waiting area to await screening.
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The governor of Pennsylvania has criticized the Trump campaign for staging events that violate his state’s public health guidelines. In a September 25 statement, Governor Tom Wolf called Trump’s rallies dangerous and manipulative.
“It is dangerous and disappointing that the president continues to ignore science and his own health advisers while endangering the lives of those who support him,” the statement said.
The president, meanwhile, criticized the governor at one of his rallies on Monday. Speaking in Allentown, Trump said Wolf had tried to prevent the event from happening and appeared to be threatening retaliation in the future.
“I’ll remember that, Tom,” Trump told the crowd. “I’ll remember that, Tom. “Hello, Mr. Chairman, this is Governor Wolf, I need help. You know what? These people are bad. “
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Nonetheless, COVID-19 numbers are rising in Pennsylvania. The state reported 1,104 new cases on Monday, a 31% increase from last week. The daily average more than doubled last week, from 452 to 931, according to the state’s health department.
Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr Rachel Levine said the rate of positive tests rose from 4.2% to 5% in one week and she expects the number of hospitalizations to increase .
But for a group of four arriving at Monday’s Trump rally, the danger, they insisted, is exaggerated. They argued that the Trump administration had done everything possible to combat the pandemic, repeating Trump’s criticisms of the governor of Pennsylvania for “locking down” the state.
“I think it’s just a bad flu,” said one man. “I don’t think you can do much better.”
“You can’t shut down the state,” said another man.
“You cannot close the country. You have to keep America open. ”
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