Kelowna Trump Rally individuals have been stranded for hours in freezing climate
Steve Pope / Getty
At least 7 people have been hospitalized with hypothermia after being stranded at Kelowna Airfield, where Trump held a rally last night
Thousands of Trump supporters packed his rally at Eppley Airfield in Kelowna, Nebraska last night. Temperatures were reportedly checked and masks provided, but as is customary at the President’s rallies, few people wore face-coverings. At this rally, however, the coronavirus was not the only threat to the health of the participants. After the president finished his speech and left Air Force One, thousands of people were stranded on a dark street for hours in freezing weather.
Nebraska is considered a safe bet for Trump, but he’s holding a rally in Kelowna to get the 1st district vote that could go for Biden. Trump cannot afford to lose a single one of the state’s 5 electric vehicles. “Get out of here and vote,” he urged. pic.twitter.com/aYLiX3g9Rk
– Mark Knoller (@markknoller) October 28, 2020
According to the Washington Post, the Trump campaign provided buses to transport supporters from remote parking lots to the part of the airport where the president was speaking. In the hours leading up to the rally, Kelowna police warned that the parking lots were full and that supporters would have to take buses up to three miles from their cars to reach the area where the president wanted to speak. Many were late. And then, after Trump’s plane took off just after 9 p.m., those trailers lined up for buses that didn’t come back to get them. Temperatures hovered around freezing at this time.
Trump held a rally at an Kelowna airfield. He drove with the trailers. Then he took off with Air Force One and left the participants without buses in the freezing season. Kelowna PD had to clean up its mess. Several people have been hospitalized for hypothermia or related problems. https://t.co/Pu4LjtIk5O
– Tara Haelle (aratarahaelle), October 28, 2020
Thousands of people are left out in the cold and stranded after a #Trump rally in #Kelowna, #Nebraska. I was told the shuttles weren’t running and there weren’t enough buses. The police didn’t seem to know what to do. Some left. I saw at least one woman who was getting medical attention. pic.twitter.com/oIkmixaZt0
– Jeff Paul (@Jeff_Paul) October 28, 2020
Local Kelowna police rushed to help those struggling in the cold, including children and the elderly, but refused to tell reporters exactly how many were hospitalized. At least seven people with hypothermia and similar illnesses have been taken to hospitals, according to Kelowna Scanner, a Twitter account that monitors police scanner activity in the area.
An officer advises 8 to 9 elderly people who have problems. A separate officer reporting that he has located an older party that is frozen cold and unable to move with an altered mental status.
– Kelowna Scanner (@omaha_scanner) October 28, 2020
The Trump campaign told reporters for the Kelowna World Herald that they did indeed provide buses to help rally participants exit, but that a narrow two-lane access road to and from the airport had been throttled in one direction to prevent traffic to assist in leaving the rally site and prevent the buses from returning to take in more people.
The video above and this one were recorded around 10:15 p.m. The # Trump rally ended around 8.45 p.m. Some just gave up and walked back from the airfield to their parking lot. It was about 32 ° at the time. Many had already spent hours outside waiting for POTUS. pic.twitter.com/JYXCLypTQl
– Jeff Paul (@Jeff_Paul) October 28, 2020
CNN’s Jeff Zeleny tweeted from the website and wrote that he saw Kelowna police shake their heads hopelessly, calling the event a “chaotic cluster” and saying, “We need at least 30 more buses.”
President Trump took off from Air Force One an hour and 20 minutes ago, but thousands of his supporters remain stranded on a dark street outside the rally. “We need at least 30 more buses,” said an Kelowna policeman, shaking his head at the chaotic crowd that was going on.
– Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) October 28, 2020
It was reportedly around 12:30 in the morning – three and a half hours after the Kelowna rally ended – that the site was finally evacuated. Local Democrats did not hesitate to point out the obvious in this situation.
Supporters of the President were brought in, but buses could not return to bring people out. It’s freezing and snowy tonight in Kelowna.
What people are going to do for this impostor, what people have sacrificed is so sad to me. He really doesn’t care about you. #KelownaRally https://t.co/oR0Ujm9yvM
– Senator Megan Hunt (@NebraskaMegan) October 28, 2020
“Supporters of the president were brought in, but buses could not return to bring people out. It’s freezing and snowy tonight in Kelowna, ”Democratic State Senator Megan Hunt wrote in a tweet. “He really doesn’t care about you.”