Six hospitalized at scorching Trump rally in Vegas amid ex-president’s teleprompter meltdown

Some 24 others were treated on site as temperatures exceeded 100 degrees in Las Vegas on Sunday

Martha McHardy
Monday 10 June 2024 15:37
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Six people were hospitalized on Sunday after attending former President Donald Trump’s outdoor rally in scorching heat in Nevada.

Some 24 others were treated at the rally as temperatures exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Las Vegas, where thousands of people gathered in the city’s Sunset Park to watch Trump speak at his first large-scale rally since he was convicted of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

During the rally, he addressed the heat several times, even telling his supporters at one point not to die from heat exhaustion because he needed their votes.

“I don’t want anybody going on me. We need every voter. I don’t care about you. I just want your vote,” he said, adding that he was joking.

As his supporters laughed, Trump then went on to say that reporters attending the rally would take his words out of context and tell viewers that the ex-president had said a “horrible” thing onstage.

Earlier in his speech, he said the campaign would offer help to people who were feeling tired and joked that “everybody,” including the US Secret Service, was worried about the safety of the crowds and not about him.

A woman receives aid from firefighters as people wait for Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump to attend a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada
A woman receives aid from firefighters as people wait for Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump to attend a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada (REUTERS)

“It’s 110, but it doesn’t feel it to me,” Trump said. “I’m up here sweating like a dog. They don’t think about me. This is hard work.”

It likely did not hit 110 degrees during Trump’s rally on Sunday, though similar temperatures were reached in the city only a few days ago.

Campaign organizers were seen handing out water bottles as supporters waited in line to be screened by security officers. Inside the venue, large misting fans, pallets of water and cooling tents were placed around the perimeter.

It is the second desert rally that Trump has held in the last month amid high temperatures across the southwest, leaving supporters standing for hours in the merciless heat. Trump also held a rally in Phoenix last month, where 11 of his supporters required hospitalisation due to the heat.

A man suffering from heat exhaustion receives aid from fire department at Trump’s Nevada rally
A man suffering from heat exhaustion receives aid from fire department at Trump’s Nevada rally (Reuters)

But despite the high temperatures, Trump said the heat was not the main cause of his discontent on Sunday, adding that he was angrier with the teleprompters not working well.

“I pay all this money to teleprompter people, and I’d say 20 percent of the time, they don’t work,” he said, adding he would not pay the vendor who provided the prompters. “It’s a mess.”

Trump also used the rally to tell supporters that he would not tax income from tips if re-elected, in a move widely regarded as a bid for support from service workers in the swing state of Nevada.

“So this is the first time I’ve said this, and for those hotel workers and people that get tips you’re going to be very happy because when I get to office, we are going to not charge taxes on tips people (are) making,” Trump told the crowd.

The Republican presidential candidate added that he would “do that right away, first thing in office,” and that he would seek legislation in Congress to make the change. “You do a great job of service, you take care of people and I think it’s going to be something that really is deserved.”

Nevada is one of six or seven swing states likely to determine the election, with a Fox News survey conducted after the guilty verdict showing Trump ahead of Biden in Nevada by five percentage points, an advantage roughly in line with an average of polls compiled by poll tracking website FiveThirtyEight.

Donald Trump greets voters upon arriving at his rally in Las Vegas on 9 June 2024
Donald Trump greets voters upon arriving at his rally in Las Vegas on 9 June 2024 (Getty Images)

Trump is seeking to win the swing state over by pushing his tax plan, which includes vague pledges of tax relief to middle-income workers and small businesses, in a direct appeal to service industry workers. As a tourism-centred economy, Nevada has more than double the national average of personal care and service workers, who make up four per cent of the total workforce in the state.

Trump has previously pledged to make permanent the Republican-passed individual tax cuts that he signed into law in 2017, which expire at the end of 2025. Tax experts estimate that doing so would raise US deficits by some $4 trillion over a decade compared to current forecasts.

As current law requires, tipped employees must report their tips as income. Eliminating this would add further to deficits without new revenues elsewhere.

President Joe Biden, has pledged to maintain Trump’s tax cuts for households earning under $400,000 a year, but wants to substantially raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on large corporations.

Meanwhile, Trump has steered clear of any plans to raise taxes - in a move that he hopes will attract middle-income service workers towards him.

But despite Trump’s strong showing in the polls in Nevada amid his criminal conviction on of 34 counts of falsifying business records, experts have predicted he may still face challenges in the state.

Rebecca Gill, a political science professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, said she was sceptical that polls were fully capturing where voters will be in a few months, given that many are not yet paying attention to the race.

Gill told Reuters she did not think Trump’s criminal conviction has fully sunk in with voters and could deter some moderate Republicans from backing him. In addition, a proposed amendment to enshrine access to abortion in the state constitution would, if it makes it onto the ballot, likely boost Democratic turnout.

However, she conceded that Nevada is “100% still in play” for the former president.

Sunday’s rally comes on the heels of a three-day fundraising push by Trump that included stops in San Francisco, Beverly Hills and Las Vegas, during which he raised $33.5 million from donors, according to senior campaign adviser Chris LaCivita.

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