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Stanford study links Trump rallies to 700 COVID-19 deaths

Eighteen Trump rallies may have resulted in more than 700 COVID-19-related deaths, including among people who did not attend the rallies, according to a new working paper from researchers at Stanford University.

While Joe Biden adapted his presidential campaign to smaller, more socially distant events during the pandemic, President Donald Trump has been making the case for his crowded gatherings, where the use of masks is often rare. The Stanford Journal studied 18 Trump rallies this year and linked them to a significant spike in COVID-19 cases – around 30,000 – in surrounding counties.

The paper, from the school’s economics department, has not been peer reviewed, leading epidemiologists to raise reservations about its findings. However, one such infectious disease expert told The Daily Beast that the study’s larger findings suggest a post-Trump COVID bump and further illustrate the effect of wearing a mask.

The study’s authors wrote that their results confirmed earlier warnings about large gatherings.

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