“With Donald Trump threatening to cut school funding, nothing could be more tone-deaf than covering the cost of health screenings for donors but not America’s students,” said Kyle Morse, an American Bridge 21st Century Spokesperson. “Trump has always played games with our nation’s health care, but now, he’s gambling with the lives of our students, teachers, and faculty. We cannot trust Donald Trump to put politics before science, and on Election Day, the American people will hold him accountable for the mismanaged coronavirus response that’s already claimed over 130,000 lives.”
At Donald Trump’s most recent fundraiser from his Bedminster golf resort, the Trump campaign covered the cost for donors to receive a coronavirus test, health screening, and temperature check before entry – a stricter standard than returning students, teachers, and faculty are expected to receive before resuming in-person teaching in the Fall.
ICYMI: USA Today: Donald Trump plans to travel to West Texas for campaign fundraiser despite COVID spike
By David Jackson on 7/9/20
WASHINGTON – Already under fire for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Donald Trump plans to hold a campaign fundraiser this month in one of the nation’s top hot spots: Texas.
Trump is scheduled to travel to West Texas on July 29 for a “Permian Basin Special Event,” a three-part series of fundraisers to be held in Odessa. Donors will choose from a $100,000-per-person “roundtable” meeting, a $50,000-per-couple photo opportunity, and a $2,800-per-person luncheon with the president, according to an invitation reviewed by USA TODAY.
“Additional details will be provided upon RSVP,” the invitation says.
Trump is resuming campaign fundraisers and rallies despite surges in COVID-19 across the country. Infections have multiplied since some states, urged on by Trump, began to re-open economies that had been shut down to stop the spread of the virus. Trump’s first major campaign event, a June 20 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was “likely” a factor in a recent surge of cases there, local health officials said this week.
The resumption of his re-election campaign also comes as Trump finds himself falling behind Democratic challenger Joe Biden in public opinion polls – and in fundraising.
Aides to Trump confirmed the invitation to Odessa, but did not comment further because the even has not been publicly announced.
Trump, who has held videoconference fundraisers during the pandemic, resumed in-person events on June 11 in another Texas city: Dallas.
On June 20, Trump held his first rally in months at a half-filled sports arena in Tulsa. Health officials in that city have said coronavirus cases have increased in the weeks since, in part because of the mass of people gathered to hear a Trump.
The president’s campaign has scheduled an airport rally Saturday in Portsmouth, N.H.
Matt Mackowiak, a Texas-based Republican political consultant, said he’s confident the Trump campaign will handle the event appropriately.
“I expect the event will be small and carefully executed with public health guidelines protected,” he said.
Trump has pushed states to re-open, despite warnings from health officials that it may have been too soon.
One of those states: Texas.
Since re-opening plans took effect, Texas has reported record numbers of COVID cases for three straight days, including more than 9,900 cases on Wednesday. As of Thursday morning, nearly 3,000 people in Texas have died of the coronavirus.
The United States as a whole has seen record spikes in recent days, including more than 59,000 new cases on Wednesday.
Trump has downplayed the increases, and continued to push for re-opening. He is now urging local governments to re-open schools, and threatening them with a loss of federal funds if they do not comply.
“We’re going to be putting a lot of pressure on: Open your schools in the fall,” Trump said at the White House on Tuesday.