Trump Campaign Mostly Cancels Minnesota Event, Accuses Democrats of Cancelling it


President Donald Trump’s campaign mostly cancelled a Friday event scheduled to take place in Minnesota, downsizing it from a rally of 6,000 people to a much smaller event with 250 attendees.

The event, originally scheduled to take place at the Rochester International Airport in southern Minnesota’s Olmstead County, had been moved to the property of two businesses in the area, which planned to accommodate an outdoor crowd of 6,000. However, the campaign said Thursday evening it was moving the event back to the airport, with maximum capacity set at 250.

On Friday, Trump sought to blame long-standing guidelines established by state Democrats. “We’re having a problem with some people in Minnesota, where they have a cap because Biden goes there and he can’t draw flies,” Trump said, referencing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a Thursday statement the state had requested a “preparedness plan,” but that the Trump campaign moved the event before providing one. “This morning, upon hearing the event was moving to Dodge Center, we asked the Trump campaign and McNeilus Steel for a COVID preparedness plan,” Ellison said. “We did not receive a response. Now we have learned the event has moved again. We did not cancel this event: indeed, we have no authority to cancel events and have never cancelled an event.”

Minnesota has prohibited gatherings of more than 250 people since an initial stay-at-home by Gov. Tim Walz (D) ended in May. However, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have visited the state on numerous occasions since that time. The campaign has signed agreements each time to limiting event sizes to 250 people, though crowds have regularly exceeded that number. A September 30 rally held in Duluth by the president received an estimated 2,500 attendees. An October 26 event with Pence in Hibbing received about 650 attendees.

It isn’t clear what prompted the campaign to cancel Friday’s rally, but Minnesota has suffered from a massive surge in the spread of the coronavirus. The state experienced 2,872 cases of the virus on Thursday, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, a new single-day record for the state, and the fourth day this month where cases exceeded 2,000.

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