JANESVILLE (WKOW) — For the third time this week, Wisconsin broke a record for new coronavirus cases.
More than 3,800 people tested positive, bringing the total in Wisconsin since the pandemic began above 166,000.
This surge comes as President Donald Trump prepares to gather crowds in Janesville for a campaign rally.
It’s set for 6 p.m. Saturday at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport.
The president was originally supposed to visit Janesville October 3rd but the event was canceled after he tested positive for COVID-19.
Ahead of the rally, some doctors are concerned it will turn into a super spreader event, imperiling a region already struggling with rising cases.
“We’re here to call on President Trump to cancel his campaign rally on Saturday,” said Dr. Rob Freedland with Mayo Clinic Health System La Crosse.
They say there are two main reasons for that.
“One, President Trump’s rallies pack people close together,” Dr. Freedland said. “Two, his rallies give him a bullhorn to spread misinformation that people hear and act upon with dangerous consequences.”
Despite rising cases in Rock County, President Trump’s supporters feel safe going into the rally Saturday, saying his own coronavirus diagnosis helped them take the virus much more seriously.
“I have definitely seen an increase in people wearing masks. I think people might have had a little bit of mask fatigue and I think it helped to remind people that, we need to wash our hands, we need to socially distance, it’s not just also about the masks,” said Michele Scherdin, a supporter at a Trump Victory event Friday.
On Wednesday, the president was in Des Moines, Iowa for a rally, and while people standing behind him were almost all masked, the larger crowd showed people standing close by and not wearing masks.
Representative Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton), who was at the Trump Victory event on Friday and planned to attend the rally Saturday, said she hoped Janesville does better.
“I think they need to be mindful that they need to be masked up, that they need to be respecting other people’s space with physical distancing and social distancing,” Rep. Loudenbeck said. “There are going to be a large number of people there and if that’s the case then people are going to have to make sure they keep themselves and others safe.”