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Billboard next to Trump rally directs supporters to 'COVID Superspreader Event'

It was set up ahead of the president's visit to Iowa.
Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon
President Donald Trump removes his mask as he stands on the Blue Room Balcony upon returning to the White House Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington, after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. Trump announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A campaign group opposed to President Donald Trump has put up a billboard in Des Moines ahead of his rally Wednesday night in Iowa.

The red billboard, which was paid for by the nonprofit Rural America 2020, has big white letters that say "TRUMP COVID SUPERSPREADER EVENT" and an arrow pointed toward Des Moines International Airport, where the event will be held at 6 p.m. Central Time.

The sign comes just weeks after the now-famous Rose Garden event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. The crowded nomination ceremony was dubbed a "super-spreader" event for the coronavirus, with more than two dozen people linked to the White House contracting COVID-19 since the Sept. 26 announcement.

President Trump on Monday visited Sanford, Florida, where he held his first rally since he was hospitalized for COVID-19. Many attendees stood shoulder-to-shoulder. And, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a close ally of the president, could be seen maskless and high-fiving Trump supporters.

The Trump campaign says the Des Moines rally will include temperature checks and hand sanitizer. Guests will be instructed to wear masks, the campaign said.

Though the event is being held within Des Moines city limits, the city's mask mandate technically doesn't have any standing at the Trump rally. 

The rally will be at the Des Moines International Airport; the land surrounding the airport actually belongs to the Des Moines Airport Authority, not the City of Des Moines. Therefore, it's technically out of the City's jurisdiction, and the mask mandate won't be enforced.

Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie voiced his concerns with the potential public health implications this event could have on the community.

"To us, this is a public health issue," Cownie told WOI. "Obviously. Because these are often central Iowa people that would be attending, and many of them probably Des Moines folks. We don't want them needlessly exposed through not exercising the proper disease control guidelines."

Eva Andersen at WOI contributed to this report.

RELATED: First Trump, now Biden: As campaigns hit Florida hard, nearly 2 million people have already voted

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