Eighteen Trump rallies may have led to more than 700 COVID-19 deaths, including among people who did not attend the rallies, according to a new working paper from Stanford University researchers.
While Joe Biden has tailored his presidential campaign toward smaller, more socially distanced events during the pandemic, President Donald Trump has made a selling point of his packed rallies, where mask use is often scarce. The Stanford paper studied 18 Trump rallies this year, and linked them to a significant spike in COVID-19 cases—approximately 30,000—in surrounding counties.
The paper, from the school’s economics department, has not been peer reviewed, leading epidemiologists to raise some caveats about its findings. However, one such infectious disease expert told The Daily Beast that the study’s broader findings do suggest a post-Trump COVID bump, and further illustrate the effect of wearing a mask.