On Tuesday, Trump held a rally in Phoenix, Arizona at the Dream City megachurch, his second appearance since taking a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. But instead of social distancing and masks, images from the event show a tightly packed crowd, with almost no one wearing any protective facial coverings. Nor were there temperature checks of attendees, despite Tuesday being another record day for new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Arizona.
Why was there so little effort made to prevent transmission and protect rally attendees? Possibly because on Sunday, the church had announced it had an advanced air purification system built into the building’s ventilation that “kills 99.9 percent of Covid within 10 minutes.” They later backtracked on this wildly inaccurate claim, but attendees of the event were still required to sign a waiver that denied the church any liability for exposure to COVID-19.
As if the story couldn’t get any crazier, as Trump was repeating his mantras about how the virus is “going away,” the protest outside the event, which was considered an “unlawful assembly” by the Phoenix PD, was dispersed using flashbang grenades and teargas.
Life in America: where spreading deadly misinformation is state-sanctioned, but protesting this nonsense is unlawful.
featured image credit: Thomas Hawthorne / The Republic