Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday criticized the Trump campaign after hundreds of the president’s supporters were left stranded for hours outside in the cold after his rally in Omaha, Neb., the night before.
About 30 people were treated for a variety of medical reasons, the Omaha Police Department said. At least seven were taken to the hospital.
“Hundreds of people, including older Americans and children, were stranded in subzero, freezing temperatures for hours,” Biden said at a speech in Wilmington, Del., before casting his own ballot. “Several folks ended up in the hospital. It’s an image that captured President Trump’s whole approach to this crisis. He takes a lot of big pronouncements and he makes a lot of big pronouncements, but they don’t hold up. He gets his photo op and then he gets out.”
Trump’s rally at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield ended shortly before 9 p.m. local time. Supporters, who braved long lines and temperatures as low as 27°F to get in, waited for limited buses to return to a parking lot nearly 3 miles away. The site was cleared at 11:50 p.m., or about three hours after Air Force One departed.
“He leaves everyone else to suffer the consequences of his failure to make a responsible plan,” Biden said. “It seems he doesn’t care much about it. And the longer he’s in charge, the more reckless he gets. It’s enough. It’s time to change.”
In a statement to Yahoo News, Samantha Zager, the deputy national press secretary of the Trump campaign, blamed the delays on the “sheer size of the crowd” as well as “local road closures.”
“President Trump loves his supporters and was thrilled to visit Omaha last night,” Zager said. “Despite the cold, tens of thousands of people showed up for his rally. Because of the sheer size of the crowd, we deployed 40 shuttle buses instead of the normal 15, but local road closures and resulting congestion caused delays. We always strive to provide the best guest experience at our events and we care about their safety.”
In a subsequent statement, Zager added that the campaign had provided “tents, heaters, generators, hot cocoa, and handwarmers” for attendees waiting to depart.
Updated Trump campaign statement on supporters who were stranded in the cold after his Omaha rally says they were provided heaters, handwarmers and hot cocoa: pic.twitter.com/raRiSZqYCK
— Dylan Stableford (@stableford) October 28, 2020
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