Hundreds Left Stranded in the Cold After Omaha Trump Rally

On the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 28, the city of Omaha ranked number one on Twitter’s trending topic list, beating out Kim Kardashian’s private island and the Dodger’s World Series win. Why? Because thousands of people attending the Trump rally in Omaha were left stranded at the site of the rally. In the cold. Four miles away from their cars. 

At Eppley Airfield Site in Omaha, Nebraska, President Trump held a rally attended by thousands of people. The rally went on, as usual; Trump gave a speech, in which he mentioned the coronavirus and left on his airplane, Air Force One, at nine p.m. Most of the rally’s attendees were told to park in parking lots four miles away from the airfield and were shuttled on buses to the site of the rally. 

As the rally ended, a crowd large enough to fit 30 buses lined up and waited for those buses to arrive. At 10:30 p.m. (almost an hour and a half after the rally ended and Trump flew away), those buses still didn’t arrive. The temperature was nearly at freezing as the rally attendees decided to make the four-mile walk along the dark road to the parking lots where they were told to park. Omaha Police Department stepped in, offering rides to those most at risk, including the elderly and small children.

Donald trump at a rally Photo by Gage Skidmore from Flickr

CNN reporter Jeff Zeleny who attended the rally called the event a “chaotic cluster” in a tweet. He added in a second tweet that even though he had to walk a mile to his own press van, there were “hundreds and hundreds of people who came on buses—forced to park miles away—who were stranded.”  

Some people were reportedly taken to the hospital for treatment, with some even developing hypothermia. Police officers reported having an elderly party that was "frozen cold” and "unable to move." There were even some of the elderly who were reported to have an altered state of mind after waiting in the cold.

At 11 p.m., there were still thousands of people making the journey along the dark road to their cars. The roads and the parking lots didn’t clear until around one a.m., almost four hours after President Trump left the rally. Later on, the crowd found out that the buses were stuck because of traffic and weather conditions. 

This incident was the subject of many tweets Wednesday morning that blamed the Trump Administration for what happened in Omaha. Many called the event a metaphor for Trump’s whole campaign. Joe Lockhart, a political analyst at CNN, called the Omaha incident “the perfect metaphor” in his op-ed. Former Vice President Joe Biden called the event “an image of President Trump’s whole approach to this crisis” at his appearance in Delaware. Others decided that President Trump wasn’t to blame for the lack of transportation.

Samantha Leger, the deputy press secretary for the Trump campaign, said that President Trump “loves his supporters,” and blamed what happened on “local road closures.” President Trump has yet to speak on the incident.

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