Donald Trump's September 18 rally in Bemidji, Minnesota, has been linked to nine coronavirus cases, Duluth News Tribune reported. According to the publication, two of the nine infected have been hospitalized and one of the two requires intensive care.
The Trump rally-linked cases come amid a surge in the state that the Duluth News Tribune claimed shows no signs of letting up. On Friday, 1,401 new cases were confirmed, along with 14 deaths and a continued increase in hospitalizations.
"They follow a stretch of more than a week when average new daily case counts topped 1,000. The trend line of active COVID-19 cases in Minnesota remains at a record high in the pandemic."State officials claimed that a late-September surge was expected due to sporting events, Labor Day gatherings, and college student meetups.
Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain notably died from coronavirus not long after attending Trump's comeback rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The stage 4 colon cancer survivor tested positive just nine days after attending the event.
The news from Minnesota comes after Trump himself tested positive for coronavirus along with his wife and many other White House officials. As reported by CBS News, Dr. Anthony Fauci -- the United States' top infectious disease expert -- told the publication that the recent White House ceremony celebrating Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court was a "super spreader" event that was exacerbated by individuals who were not following public safety guidelines, such as social distancing and wearing a mask.
Despite the recent spread and warnings from public health experts, Trump has claimed to be in good health and has his sights set on more rallies in the coming days. As reported by The Guardian, the head of state is planning a rally in Florida on Saturday as he continues to avoid revealing whether he has yet tested negative for COVID-19.
"Well what we're doing is, probably the test will be tomorrow," he said to Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night. "The actual test, because there's no reason to test all the time."
Experts have warned that it's too early to determine whether Trump is still contagious. Fauci claimed that 10 days symptom-free — along with two PCR tests 24 hours apart — are needed to determine his status. But Dr. Leana Wen, the former Baltimore health commissioner, noted the president appears to have struggled with a severe case of coronavirus, which means he will likely remain infectious longer than the 10-day average.