President Trump hosted a packed rally in Henderson, Nevada on Sunday night where optimism was running high and social distancing was almost non-existent. Supporters waited hours in the 100-degree desert heat to pack the stadium, and cheer on the president. Attendees had their temperatures checked, hand sanitizer was dolled out by the gallon, and every person who wanted a mask was offered one.
But to the media at large and critics of the president, holding an indoor rally during a pandemic was simply unacceptable. The rally was excoriated by the mainstream press, who largely didn't attend the event, even referring to the crowd of enthusiastic Trump supporters as potential "superspreaders."
The Democrat governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak, condemned Trump for hosting a rally in the state that went against COVID-19 regulations.
At a time when Nevada is focused on getting our economy back on track and protecting public health, the President’s actions this weekend are shameful, dangerous and irresponsible.— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) September 14, 2020
Trump's supporters, many of whom drove hundreds of miles and crossed state lines to see the president speak, seemed to be expecting this reaction.
After more than three months of civil unrest led by supporters of Black Lives Matter that has included nightly protests of thousands gathered in the streets, not following social distancing guidelines, supporters of the president were ready to rebrand themselves to call out the sheer hypocrisy.
Trump 2020 Director of Communications Tim Murtaugh brought receipts. Following the governor's slam against the president, which made no mention of the painstaking health and safety precautions undertaken by the event organizers, Murtaugh produced a document in which the governor provided "guidance" to BLM protesters from earlier this summer. He offered no similar condemnation of their intention to gather en masse despite the state's strict pandemic lockdown regulations.
In Nevada, it seems the 1st Amendment only applies to certain expressions of speech.— Tim Murtaugh - Download the Trump 2020 app today! (@TimMurtaugh) September 14, 2020
In June, the governor happily provided guidance to protesters.
But now somehow the 1st Amendment doesn’t apply to people who peacefully gather to hear from the President of the United States. https://t.co/bnHd28PDhs
In anticipation of the backlash, the campaign handed out "Peaceful Protester" signs to supporters at the rally, so that the governor could offer the same support to those hoping to hear from their president as he has extended to far-left protesters throughout the summer.
The Trump campaign has restarted in-person rallies to tremendous fanfare from the president's supporters while continuing to duck punches from the left-leaning media intent on describing the rallies as dangerous and unhealthy.
The optimism from inside the Trump rallies is a complete contradiction from Democratic nominee Joe Biden's campaign strategy, which keeps the 77-year-old from interacting with supporters as much as possible. His crowds are limited to a handful of people and staff.