For the second time this year, President Donald Trump has failed to attract the kind of campaign crowd that he used to get during the 2016 election cycle. After photos showed that just a handful of people attended his rally in Tampa, Florida, the POTUS was mocked on Twitter. Although his team had done their part and cordoned off over a dozen lines for spectators so that thousands could watch Trump deplane from Air Force One and give a speech on the tarmac, on July 31, in the Sunshine State, photos from the location showed that only a handful of supporters had turned up to greet the president for his campaign stop. It was unclear whether fears of the coronavirus pandemic or Trump's general unpopularity kept people away from the rally. The sight of just a few people gathered to watch the leader speak certainly drew mockery from the liberals on social media.
CNN's DJ Judd posted the sorry photos online and said that as people started huddling in the front to get a better view of the president, a voice on the loudspeaker said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we do ask that you maintain social distance during this event. There’s plenty of space for everyone.” The second part of the statement was ironically also true because only some hundreds showed up for the event while rows and rows of empty space was cordoned off, in the anticipation to accommodate thousands.
''Today, Trump held a rally in Florida & the crowd was nearly empty. They expected 10,000 supporters & less than 200 showed up. None were wearing masks. This photo was taken while Trump was speaking, not before & not after," one of the users wrote. It was unclear if she had taken the snap herself or obtained it from somewhere.
“This is the actual crowd size for the Trump rally in Florida today. A pathetically small crowd and they could still not have them socially distance in the fourth consecutive record day of deaths in the state," another user tweeted.
According to a third: ''This is trump's Florida Fan Fail. Many tens of people. Such fan.''
Others were angry at the fact that Trump did not appear to wear a mask throughout his appearance. His supporters, though low in numbers, also let go of social distancing norms which including face coverings as Trump spoke about his “law and order” campaign theme.
Florida House District 49 Rep. Carlos G. Smith took to Twitter and pointed out, “Trump NOT socially distancing OR wearing a mask OR setting a good example in Tampa. Today, Florida reported our WORST daily death count with 257 Floridians dead from the virus. Trump IS giving a campaign speech. Tampa also has a mask mandate.”
Trump's rally came a couple of days after former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain died from the coronavirus at the age of 74, weeks after attending Trump's rally in Tulsa without a mask on June 20. He had been critically ill for several weeks and had been admitted to an Atlanta-area hospital. He was being treated for Covid-19 since July 1. He was diagnosed positive with the virus just ten days after Cain had attended a rally for Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Two days after testing positive, he was hospitalized.
Although it cannot be said for sure where Cain contracted the virus since the chair of Black Voices for Trump had a hectic travel schedule in June, stopping in multiple cities, the POTUS was heavily criticized for holding the rally last month after eight members of the advance team tested positive for the coronavirus and the campaign staff had to self-isolate afterward to be extra cautious of possible infection.
At the time he had tweeted a photo of himself in the stands of the rally with the words: ''Here’s just a few of the #BlackVoicesForTrump at tonight’s rally! Having a fantastic time!'' Despite being a cancer survivor as well as in the high-risk group for the virus because of his age, he was seen not wearing a mask during the event nor following social distancing protocols in the photo.
The president came under fire at the time for choosing to hold a rally as coronavirus cases were rising in Oklahoma. Only 6,200 people attended the event although the BOK Center, where the rally took place, has a capacity of 19,000. When the event did not turn into the campaign comeback that Trump had hoped for he reportedly threw a fit, although the White House denied any anger on his part.