While the US Presidential election is just a few days away, hundreds of doctors urged Vice President Mike Pence to stop organizing rallies due to Coronavirus infection risk. The Committee to Protect Medicare wrote a letter to Pence that was signed by over 300 physicians across the country.
The letter, which was also signed by 37 healthcare experts from North Carolina, points out that many of Pence's advisors tested positive for COVID-19, and even though the vice president himself tested negative, the doctors worry that he is not following health guidelines and safety measures.
Hundreds of healthcare experts argue that Pence is not an essential worker and the election campaign rallies are not necessary to "the sustenance of life, unlike the many essential workers who support our social, economic, energy, healthcare, and other critical infrastructure -- often at great risk to their lives and the safety of their families."
The doctors also expressed their concerns in the letter saying that Pence's rallies pack large crowds of people together at a time when infection cases are surging, including communities where the rallies will be hosted.
"High positive rates and local cases, combined with crowded gatherings and little mask wearing at these Trump-Pence campaign rallies, increase the likelihood of disease transmission and community spread," the letter added.
Election Rallies And Coronavirus Infection Risk
Ahead of the November 3 election, Stanford University researchers published a study that says that President Donald Trump's rallies not only triggered more cases in the country but also caused 700 additional deaths.
The committee of doctors in the letter also pointed out the same concern. Dr. Jessica Schorr Saxe, a retired family physician in Charlotte, North Carolina said, "As physicians, we have been extremely concerned about the risk the Trump campaign's rallies pose to the public health, and the fact that several of Pence's aides recently contracted COVID-19 only gives greater cause for concern."
She also added that even if the vice president were not a potential carrier, "we know that Trump campaign rallies are often followed by community outbreaks," and that is the last thing North Carolina communities need at this moment when the state shatters new Coronavirus infection records. It was also reported recently that two people who attended Trump's rally in North Carolina's Gastonia tested positive for COVID-19. Now, healthcare officials are advising every attendee to get tested.
In the letter, the doctors said that already, Pence's rallies have violated safety measures designed to maximize social distancing and reduce the risk of Coronavirus infection. According to them while the cases are rising "we must redouble our efforts to suppress the spread of COVID-19."
To win the battle against the virus, people should wear masks when outside their residence, practice social distancing and avoid gatherings, otherwise, the third wave could worse than what the US had witnessed earlier, said the doctors.
While addressing to Trump and Pence, the letter added that, as head of the White House COVID-19 task force, Pence's rallies "send a dangerous message." The denial to take basic safety precautions despite being at the epicenter of Coronavirus outbreaks in the White House, he sets a "bad example".
"If the head of our nation's COVID-19 efforts doesn't take his own guidelines seriously, neither should ordinary Americans. For all these reasons, Vice President Pence should cancel all his rallies and lead by example," the letter ended.