Donald Trump has been dondemned online after claiming that his campaign rallies have had no effect on the spread of coronavirus.
During Tuesday night’s first debate, the president said “we’ve had no negative effect”, when quizzed about indoor events held by his team earlier this year.
With new infections soaring, the president held a number of indoor rallies that appeared to flout social distancing guidelines.
More recently, the president has been setting up shop outdoors. But images from those events have shown thousands of his supporters packed closely together, many of them not wearing masks.
Following his “no negative effect” claim, Twitter was quick to remind Mr Trump, 74, that Herman Cain, the former GOP presidential candidate, died in July after contracting the disease after attending a campaign rally.
You are a joke. Everything has been fine at your rallies. How about Tulsa? Herman Cain is dead. And how many other people got sick from that Rally? You lie and deflect.
— lgoblir (@lgoblir) September 30, 2020
“Donald Trump is a LIAR!!!” fumed one user. “He just said that his rallies during a pandemic have had no negative affect on people? Ask Herman Cain how that worked out for him! And that rally was INDOORS! He is the Spreader-in-Chief!”
Another said: “Did Donald Trump really say they’ve had no problems with COVID related to his rallies? Did I dream up Herman Cain’s death?”
A third said: “You are a joke. Everything has been fine at your rallies. How about Tulsa? Herman Cain is dead. And how many other people got sick from that Rally? You lie and deflect.
Cain had attended a Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma in June without wearing a mask. He was taken to hospital for treatment after coronavirus complications in early July and died just over a week later.
It is unclear where Cain contracted the disease and there is no evidence to suggest he got infected at the Trump Tulsa rally.
The commander-in-chief himself has denied Cain got infected at the rally. “No, I don’t think he did,” he told White House reporters hours after Cain’s death.
At the first of three televised debates Mr Trump and Mr Biden, 77, clashed over the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 200,000 lives.
In what has been described as the most bad-tempered clash in living memory, the pair also went toe-to-toe on race relations, the economy, the president’s tax records, the Supreme Court and the legitimacy of the 2020 election result.
Mr Biden appeared to get the better of the president, who attempted to repeatedly interrupt his rival.
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