Home Election 2020 Thousands attend Trump rally at Toledo Express Airport

Thousands attend Trump rally at Toledo Express Airport

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President Trump exits Air Force One for his “Great American Comeback Event” at Toledo Express Airport on Sept. 21. Photo by Nolan Cramer.

President Donald Trump addressed thousands of supporters about multiple issues, most notably the Supreme Court vacancy, at a rally at the Toledo Express Airport on Monday evening.

During his approximately hour and fifteen minute long speech, Trump announced he will nominate a woman to fill the Supreme Court seat formerly held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18.

“I don’t want to make the men too angry. It will be a woman. Is that okay?” Trump said. “We’re looking at five incredible jurists, five incredible people, women that are extraordinary in every way.”

Trump announced he plans to name a nominee Friday or Saturday of this week.

As Trump discussed his Supreme Court plans, the crowd chanted, “Fill that seat! Fill that seat! Fill that seat!” He responded, “We will. We will.”

He also claimed if Joe Biden was able to choose the Supreme Court nominee, he would fill the court with “far left radicals” who would “transform American society far beyond recognition.”

“Joe Biden has refused to list the names of his potential justices because he knows they’re too extreme to withstand any form of public review,” Trump said.

Later, he talked about the novel coronavirus and the impact it has on younger immune systems, claiming that the virus only affects older populations.

“Now we know it affects elderly people with heart problems and other problems. If they have other problems, that’s what it really affects. That’s it.” Trump said. “Nobody young below the age of 18, like nobody. They have a strong immune system.”

This claim contradicted what Trump said to Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward in March. “It’s turning out it’s not just old people, Bob,” he told Woodward in a recorded conversation, “but just today, and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s just not old, older.”

According to data published Sept. 22 from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 107 Americans between the ages 0-18 have died from COVID-19 since February.

Trump followed the statement by saying the country needs to reopen schools.

Rally attendees sit crowded together on bleachers ahead of the “Great American Comeback” rally in Swanton, Ohio on Sept. 21. Photo by Nolan Cramer.

While on the topic of schooling, Trump mentioned the newly established “1776 Commission” introduced last week to launch a “pro-American lesson plan for students.”

Trump said the commission’s new lesson plans will “teach our children the truth about America, that we are the most exceptional nation on the face of the earth, and we are getting better and better all the time.”

He concluded by stating that with the crowd’s support his campaign will keep, “winning, winning, winning,” and encouraging Ohioans to vote.

At one point during the speech, Trump incorrectly claimed early voting in Ohio had already begun. Early voting does not start until Oct. 6. Ohioans can only register to vote and submit their request for an absentee ballot until that date.

The speech ended with Trump waving to the crowd as he made his way onto Air Force One.

The event, billed as a “Great American Comeback” rally, was hosted near the Grand Aire hangar at Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport in Swanton, Ohio.

Supporters of the president started lining up for the rally at 10 a.m. on Sunday — 33 hours before Trump was expected to speak — to try to secure a spot close to the stage.

People flooded onto the tarmac ahead of the speech, with many packed shoulder-to-shoulder. The majority of the crowd did not wear masks.

Attendees enter the gates for Trump’s “Great American Comeback” rally at Toledo Express Airport in Swanton, Ohio on Sept. 21. Photo by Nolan Cramer.

A spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Health told the Sandusky Register on Sept. 15 attendees at Trump’s event would be exempt from the state mask mandate because political rallies are protected by the First Amendment.

Officials with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department encouraged those attending the rally to bring hand sanitizer. The department also provided masks to anyone attending the rally who wanted one.

Eric Zgodzinski, Toledo Lucas County Health Commissioner, said in a statement prior to the rally that there was a possibility coronavirus cases in Lucas County would increase after the rally.

At an earlier event Monday in Dayton, Ohio, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted attempted to urge Trump supporters in attendance to wear their masks and was booed.

During Trump’s speech, a small group of protesters, organized by the Lucas County Democratic Party, positioned themselves one mile down the road from the rally.

The protest was originally planned closer to the airport but was moved earlier Monday due to security concerns. Most of the protesters held “Biden/Harris 2020” signs.

Monday’s rally in Swanton marked the second time this year Trump visited the Toledo area. In early January, he held a large rally at the Huntington Center.

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