Associated Press Archives | Email alerts

June 24, 2020, 12:37 p.m. EDT

Phoenix megachurch delivers for Trump the raucous atmosphere he’d hoped Tulsa rally would provide

Where the 19,000-seat Tulsa arena was one-third full, the Phoenix church building, with its capacity of about 3,000, was crowded

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Associated Press

1 2

Since late May, Arizona has emerged as one of the nation’s most active hot spots for the spread of COVID-19.

Key Words: Trump contradicts narrative that he was speaking in jest when he appeared to advocate a slowdown in coronavirus testing

Photos of restaurants and bars crowded with unmasked patrons ignited controversy. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, a Trump supporter, reversed himself last week and allowed cities and counties to require people to wear masks in public places. Most have, including Phoenix and Yuma and the counties that surround them.

Arizona is seeing disturbing trends in several benchmarks, including the percentage of tests that prove positive for the virus, which is the highest in the nation.

The state reported a new daily record of nearly 3,600 additional coronavirus cases Tuesday as Arizona continued to set records for the number of people hospitalized, in intensive care and on ventilators for COVID-19. Arizona’s total case load in the pandemic stands at at least 58,179, with 42 more deaths reported Tuesday, raising the death toll to 1,384.

“Right now, the next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surgings that we are seeing in Florida, in Texas, in Arizona and other states,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious-disease expert, told a House committee Tuesday. “They are not the only ones that are having a difficulty. Bottom line ... it’s a mixed bag.”

Key Words: Fauci says in 40 years of dealing with viral outbreaks, he’s never seen anything like COVID-19

Campaign officials stressed that rallies would remain a staple of the president’s reelection strategy but allowed that they may, in certain states, need to change slightly. Discussions were under way about having them in more modest venues or outdoors, perhaps in airplane hangars and amphitheaters, or in smaller cities away from likely protesters.

Trump campaign officials believe Trump’s ability to draw thousands of supporters out during a pandemic sets up a favorable contrasting image with Democratic rival Joe Biden. Still, the campaign has struggled to find effective attack lines on Biden.

Before the Students for Trump event, Trump visited the U.S.-Mexico border, where he tried to credit his new wall with stopping both illegal immigration and the coronavirus.

In the blazing summer heat, Trump briefly stopped to inspect a new section of the concrete and rebar structure. The president and other officials took a moment to scrawl their signatures on the wall.


Associated Press
President Donald Trump speaks with U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott during a brief Tuesday tour of a section of border wall in San Luis, Ariz. The president and other officials took a time to scrawl their signatures on the wall.

Arizona health officials have said in recent weeks that an influx of virus patients from Mexico have added to the load on hospitals in the southern part of the state.

“We realize that this is a hotspot,” Ducey said earlier this week. “We also realize we’ve got a lot of good, hard-working folks that come across the border every day to work in Arizona industry. We also have a lot of good folks that want to take advantage of much of our Arizona health care system, and we want there to be that capacity.”

__

Madhani reported from Chicago. Associated Press writers Jonathan Cooper, Astrid Galvan and Bob Christie in Phoenix and Elana Schor in New York contributed to this report.

1 2
This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In
Economy & Politics

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »
Link to MarketWatch's Slice.