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'It is irresponsible': Rock County leaders urge President Trump to cancel his Janesville rally

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Posted at 8:53 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 21:53:43-04

JANESVILLE — Rock County officials are asking President Donald Trump to cancel his rally planned at Janesville's airport this Saturday.

In a statement Thursday, County Board Chair Kara Purviance, County Administrator Josh Smith and Rock County Public Health Office Marie-Noel Sandoval asked the president to reconsider, given surging coronavirus cases in the county and in Wisconsin.

The rally was just re-scheduled from La Crosse, the original venue, to Janesville, after officials there and Gov. Tony Evers said he could not hold a rally there because of the pandemic.

“Rock County is experiencing an unprecedented pandemic that threatens the health of our residents,” County Board Chair Kara Purviance said in the statement Thursday. “It is irresponsible of the President to hold a rally that will put Rock County citizens in danger of contracting and spreading the virus.”

The Rock County leaders cite CDC guidance, which recommends communities not hold large gatherings, as the denser the crowd, the higher risk of COVID-19 will spread through the group of people.

Sandoval recommended that large gatherings of any type not be held in Rock County - political or otherwise.

The officials say that if the Trump campaign does not cancel the rally at Janesville's Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport, that they still urge attendees to follow county health guidelines, including limiting the number of people allowed at the event, and enforcing social distancing and mask-wearing.

Trump still plans on holding a rally Saturday in Green Bay. That event is set to go on as scheduled, at 6 p.m. The Janesville rally kicks off at 3:30 p.m. - if it isn't canceled.

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