President Donald Trump left several thousand of his supporters stranded at Eppley Airfield after his event in Omaha Tuesday night.
After the President boarded Air Force One and departed the state, many of the attendees, some of whom waited more than four hours to listen to him speak, stood in the freezing temperatures on a private road in the middle of the airport.
CNN’s Jeff Zeleny reported “thousands” of people were stuck in the cold more than an hour after Trump took off from the airport.
According to a Twitter account named “Omaha Scanner,” police officers located two groups of elderly Trump supporters shortly after the event ended who were struggling in the cold. One group was reportedly frozen in the cold and unable to move. At 11:35 p.m., Omaha Scanner reported seven people were transported to a hospital.
— Omaha Scanner (@omaha_scanner) October 28, 2020
Another complaint included a call for a medic to assist a 68 year-old man who complained of hypothermia and possibly had an altered mental status.
The event itself seemed poorly planned from the beginning.
Trump’s campaign told his rally-goers to arrive at Eppley at 4:30 p.m. By then, cars were lined up for miles trying to get into the airport, and the security team was directing people in circles.
At one point, security said the South Economy parking lot where the cars were being directed to was full, and pointed people toward the north lot. Security at the north lot then directed the cars of people, who had already waited in line once, back to the South Economy lot.
The security team then told people who started parking in a cell phone lot across the street from the South Economy lot that they may be towed.
Most ignored the warning and proceeded into the South Economy lot, where they found thousands of people standing in four separate lines to get onto charter buses.
A group of people in the cell phone lot gave up their place in the long line to go offer to move their cars somewhere else so they wouldn’t be towed, but the security team then said their cars wouldn’t be towed out of the nearby lot.
People were directed to stand in the long lines to get on charter buses that would drive them to the event. It took well over two hours to get through the line.
While thousands of people stood in the lines, the flow of buses was not at all constant.
At about 6:45 p.m. (the Trump event was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.) YouTubers Camille & Haley showed up to sing songs like “Back the Blue” and “Vote Trump 2020” for the people still the lines in the South Economy lot.
Once on the buses, people were transported more than 3.5 miles down a private road to another part of the airport. It took more than half-an-hour for the buses to get from the South Economy lot to the place where they could be unloaded.
Once at the event, people walked a few blocks toward tents where volunteers took everyone’s temperatures.
Attendees were led through another one- to two-hour long queue to get inside the event.
Trump landed at the airport and began speaking while thousands of people were still waiting in the queue to get in the event.
Some started shouting for the line to move faster, and some began saying they needed to use the restroom and threatened to relieve themselves while waiting in line.
While Trump left the event quickly in Air Force One, attendees were stuck for hours outside in freezing cold temperatures in the dark.
Trump was visiting Nebraska to secure his standing in the state’s 2nd congressional district (largely Omaha-based), which could flip to Joe Biden next week as Nebraska awards some of its electoral votes per congressional districts.
Some Iowa politicians were on hand for the rally, which was right over the Iowa border. Sen. Joni Ernst, however, did not get a chance to speak to the crowd despite being locked in a very tight reelection race.
by Paige Godden
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