Green Bay hospital systems warn Trump rally could lead to negative effects in fight against COVID-19

The Brown County Republican Party says attendees will be following CDC guidelines
Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 6:27 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - In a show of solidarity, the largest Green Bay hospital systems say President Donald Trump’s planned rally on Friday could lead to negative effects in fighting the spread of COVID-19.

Bellin Health, Prevea Health, HSHS St. Mary’s and St. Vincent Hospitals and Aurora BayCare Medical Center released a joint statement on Thursday evening.

“It is more important now than ever to avoid large crowds, especially here in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where we are seeing some of the most rapid spread of COVID-19 in the United States,” the statement read.

Thousands are expected to show up Friday to the president’s rally at Austin-Straubel International Airport as both presidential campaigns make a final push in Wisconsin before Election Day.

“The safest option would for everyone to stay at home and for there to be a virtual event,” Brown County Public Health Spokeswoman Claire Paprocki said. “We know that’s probably not going to be the case.”

President Trump’s visit to Green Bay had been weeks in the making. He canceled a October 3 visit after coming down with COVID-19.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, his democratic challenger, will also be in Wisconsin Friday stopping in Milwaukee.

Brown county Republican Party Chairman James Fitzgerald said he understands the worries from the medical community. Attendees will be urged to use common sense, such as wearing a mask and social distancing.

“It’s really up to the people to decide whether or not they feel it is in their best interest to attend the rally. And if they do, we welcome them to attend,” Fitzgerald said.

He added that coronavirus guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention will be followed on Friday.

“We have a tremendous medical community here and they have done a great job of communicating the COVID numbers and its impact in Brown County and certainly the city of Green Bay,” Fitzgerald said.

According to Brown County Public Health, mass gatherings could lead to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“If you are going to choose to gather, again, think about how your individual actions might affect the community as a whole,” Paprocki said.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m. on Friday with the president scheduled to speak at 2:30 p.m.

Below is the full joint statement released by the Green Bay hospital systems.

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