In the Oct. 28 article “Trump rally brings complaints, quarantine,” the owner of the Levant farm where the rally for President Donald Trump was held said that the White House staff lied about its intention in setting up the event. Contrary to what the administration told him, it was never meant to be a “small, unpublicized, surprise, private photo op.” Instead, the public rally was advertised and attracted thousands of Mainers.

The event intentionally violated our state’s public health and governor’s COVID-19 prevention rules. A family physician and Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in Maine’s 1st Congressional District, Jay Allen, and an Ellsworth physician’s assistant, Michelle Kaplan, proudly posed shoulder to shoulder without masks with Dale Crafts, Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in Maine’s 2nd District U.S. House seat, and fellow Republican former U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, both of whom also wore no masks. Photos of the rally show few attendees wore masks.

Rallies are part of the political game. Politicians pump the crowd with music and trinkets, spew canned soundbites, ridicule the opponent and pontificate about plans to make our lives better than ever.

But this election year, many politicians and their supporters did more than this. Their rallies intentionally put lives in danger. They demonstrated by their actions that the lives of hospital and home care workers, the elderly and the medically compromised are expendable. They are collateral damage that is deemed necessary for the win. It is particularly disturbing when medical professionals choose to not wear masks and gather in crowds despite what we know about the transmission of COVID-19.

Politics and public health often collide. This time the collision could be deadly. Wearing a mask at a public gathering where social distancing is not possible will save lives. There is no political posturing with this message. Just do it.

Mary Owen, R.N.

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