Trump Is Trying Really Hard to Heatstroke His Rallygoers

Waiting for Trump in 100-degree heat in Las Vegas.
Photo: John Locher/AP

It’s hot in the southwest United States in June — well north of 100 degrees in Phoenix and Las Vegas over the past few days. But this weather could not stop the Trump campaign in its effort to win Arizona and Nevada, states that could be crucial to the former president’s reelection. Nor would it stop the hundreds of Trump supporters keen on waiting outside to see the Republican candidate in his first rallies since he was convicted of a felony.

At Donald Trump’s rally in Phoenix on Thursday, supporters held up pictures of his mugshot as they waited in 110-degree heat to be let into the Dream City Church. After some supporters stood on line for hours in the heat, event staff cut off the line shortly before Trump began speaking at 2 p.m. Onstage at the megachurch, he dreamed of a country in which drug dealers would be executed and the state of Arizona would stop being a “dumping ground for the dungeons of the third world.” Among those who waited on line but could not get in, 11 were hospitalized for heat-related illnesses, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.

His next rally was on Sunday, held outdoors in a Las Vegas park abutting the airport. Ahead of the speech, Nevada GOP chair Michael McDonald said he did not anticipate any problems; if there were, the cooling stations would take care of it. “This is a dry heat,” he told the Associated Press. “This ain’t nothing for Las Vegas people. But what it symbolizes for the rest of the United States — we will walk through hell” to elect Trump.

By the time Trump arrived, it was right around 100 degrees. “I’m up here sweating like a dog,” Trump said. “They don’t think about me. This is hard work.” As he complained about the teleprompters not working well in the bright light, six people were sent to the hospital and two dozen more were treated on-site for heat-related illnesses. Trump, joking around, said the truth about the matter:

The dynamic of the Trump campaign putting his most committed supporters at risk is not a new one. Hot weather in Trump-friendly southern states has sent rallygoers to the hospital in past election cycles. In 2020, a rally in Tulsa at the height of the pandemic led to a superspreader event in the area. Soon after attending, former GOP candidate Herman Cain was hospitalized with COVID and died. At least in the post-pandemic campaign, Trump’s team most likely won’t have to feel bad about potentially killing anyone this time around.

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