President Donald Trump is finding ways to continue reaching voters in Nevada through rallies, even as COVID-19 cases climb and state restrictions limit crowds.
This week, Trump sidestepped Nevada restrictions by stumping in Arizona – right across the border in Bullhead City.
“How many people are from Nevada? Not bad, not bad,” Trump said, gauging the size of the crowd.
States in the Mountain West are beginning to ramp up restrictions on crowd sizes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spike.
“This virus can cross state lines, it can move from cities to mountain communities,” said Elizabeth Carlton with the Colorado School of Public Health. “Using the tools we have in our toolkit now are really important in order to prevent the spread of infections.”
Carlton said the Trump rallies are frustrating because they reinforce social behaviors that are hindering progress on the pandemic.
Worrying trends in Colorado prompted the city of Denver to move to the second-highest level of restrictions – reducing capacity at most businesses to 25% and capping outdoor gatherings at 75 people.
“We need to change the way we live, we need to stay safer at home, we need to avoid social interactions,” said Colorado Governor Jered Polis during a press conference this week.
Idaho, Utah, Montana and Wyoming are seeing infection rates soar, according to data from Johns Hopkins. None of those states have state-wide mask mandates.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.