‘He gets his photo op and gets out': Biden hits out at Trump for ‘reckless’ Omaha rally that left supporters hospitalised

·3-min read
Trump at a rally in Omaha (AP)
Trump at a rally in Omaha (AP)

Joe Biden has said that Donald Trump’s failure to plan responsibly left hundreds of his supporters stranded in freezing temperatures after a rally in Nebraska.

Speaking after health experts gave a briefing on Covid-19, Mr Biden said the event provided a snapshot of the president’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Just look at what happened last night in Omaha after the Trump rally ended. Hundreds of people including old Americans and children were stranded in sub-zero, freezing temperatures for hours,” the Democratic candidate said.

“Several folks ended up in the hospital. It’s an image that captured President Trump’s whole approach to this crisis … He makes a lot of big pronouncements, but they don’t hold up. He gets his photo op and then he gets out. He leaves everyone else to suffer the consequences of his failure to make a responsible plan.”

Omaha police said in a statement that seven people were taken to hospital, and 30 people were contacted for medical reasons, after Mr Trump’s rally at Eppley Airfield required people to walk three miles to waiting buses.

The Omaha Airport Authority said six people were taken to hospital during the event, but did not confirm for what reasons.

After Air Force One left the tarmac at about 9pm, police said the last bus left the rally site at 11:50pm. The supporters, numbering about 25,000, had begun filing into the rally at about 10am before the scheduled starting time of 8pm.

“It seems like he just doesn’t care much about it. And the longer he’s in charge the more reckless he gets. It’s enough. It’s time to change,” Mr Biden said.

Samantha Zager, Mr Trump's deputy national press secretary, said in a statement to Omaha-World Herald on Wednesday that he loved his supporters and cared about their safety, placing blame for the delays on local road closures.Â

“Despite the cold, tens of thousands of people showed up for his rally. Because of the sheer size of the crowd, we deployed 40 shuttle buses – double the normal allotment – but local road closures and resulting congestion caused delays,” she said.

“At the guest departure location, we had tents, heaters, generators, hot cocoa, and handwarmers available for guests.”

Nebraska senator Megan Hunt tweeted that the president “truly does not care” about his supporters.

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