Recently, there was a debacle involving a Trump rally in Omaha, Nebraska, where hundreds of the president’s supporters were left stranded for hours in the freezing cold because the campaign had failed to ensure that buses were appropriately ready to transport the people from the rally site to their cars. In Omaha, some Trump supporters ended up needing medical attention. Now, there’s been another debacle involving the Trump campaign wantonly exposing its supporters to the elements. On Thursday, the president visited Tampa, Florida, where he held a rally in 87-degree Fahrenheit heat and 71 percent humidity. People were struggling — one reporter on the scene, Emily Larsen, said that she saw one of the president’s supporters “get carried out on a stretcher.”
It’s hot hot hot at Trump’s large rally. 87 and 71% humidity. Have noticed EMTs provide assistance for at least two people in the crowd, one carried out on a stretcher. Staffers trying get water bottles to people but quickly running out and having to restock pic.twitter.com/CStmlY8SoN
— Emily Larsen (@emilyelarsen) October 29, 2020
Larsen, who works for the Washington Examiner, said that, besides the person on a stretcher, she saw at least one other person get medical assistance from EMTs. Another reporter — the Sarasota Herald-Tribune‘s Zac Anderson — said that at one point (before Trump even got on the stage) “somebody went down.” Meanwhile, NBC’s Monica Alba (who was at the same rally) said that the president’s supporters were “calling for medics every 5-10 minutes.” How could the Trump campaign have failed to appropriately prepare for the obvious threat of the heated weather? At the rally, a fire truck sprayed its hose into the air in order to help cool the crowd with the mist — although the president seems to have not been let in on the operation, because during his speech he asked the crowd whether the crew was a “friend or foe.” Check out some footage below:
It’s so hot here in Tampa (87 degrees) that there’s a truck blasting water at the back of the Trump rally crowd. Multiple people have passed out already, with supporters calling for medics every 5-10 minutes. pic.twitter.com/Iu7I2KbgYi
— Monica Alba (@albamonica) October 29, 2020
Trump actually seemed to endorse potential physical confrontations with the hose crew before he presumably learned at some point that there was not some conspiracy to spray water over his rally crowd and the water wasn’t a nefarious plot. Referring to the hose operators, Trump ranted to the crowd that “if they’re foe, let’s take care of those sonofabitches” — which sounds totally unhinged. Trump saw a spraying fire hose, and one of his first instincts was to seemingly suggest potential physical intimidation of its operators.
Trump notices water being sprayed into the air (to cool people at the event), then says, "Are they friend or foe?" He says the mist felt good to him, then adds, smiling, "Let's find out if they're friend or foe. And if they're foe, let's take care of those sonofabitches."
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 29, 2020
With days to go until Election Day, Trump is getting desperate. Florida will likely be a critical addition to the winning coalition of whichever candidate wins the presidency this November. Biden leads in Florida polls by an average of 2.1 percent as of Thursday afternoon, according to FiveThirtyEight. Recent Florida surveys from Monmouth University and Marist College had Biden at 50-51 percent, which is a good sign for the stability of his lead. If Biden gets 50.1 percent of the vote, then no number of undecided voters could swing the state to Trump.