President Donald Trump returning to Minnesota for campaign rally

He will speak in Rochester just days for the election.
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President Donald Trump will return to Minnesota for one final rally before the Nov. 3 election.

The president has announced visits to Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota this coming Friday as he seeks to pick up crucial votes in the Upper Midwest.

Minnesota will be the third of his stops, as he holds a "Make America Great Again Victory Rally" at the Rochester International Airport.

The rally will start at 5 p.m., with gates opening at 2 p.m.

The president last visited Minnesota in September, holding a rally in Bemidji on the same day his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, held a campaign event in Duluth.

He was also at MSP Airport and Mankato in August.

Trump lost by a margin of just 1.5% in 2016, and has identified Minnesota as a pickup target, claiming he would have won it last time had he paid the state one more visit.

It comes as the president continues to face criticism for holding the well-attended outdoor rallies despite the current situation with COVID-19 in the country, with many of those in attendance typically not wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

A Minnesota Department of Health spokesman said this week that at least 23 cases of COVID-19 have been traced to Trump's previous rallies in Minnesota this year, two of which resulted in hospitalizations.

MPR News reports that the number of cases that come from president's rallies are considered relatively low, with the outdoor setting likely helping, but health officials also said that the true extent might not be known, as only around 30 percent of Minnesotans answer when asked if they've attended a recent large gathering by contact tracers.

MDH also found four cases traced to a counter-protest near the Bemidji rally, one case traced to Biden's stop in Duluth, and one case traced to an event with Eric Trump.

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The nonpartisan Center for American Progress has reported that around half of the president's rallies have been followed by increases in COVID-19 cases in the county in which they're held, with the other half either appearing consistent with the pre-event trend, or declining.

Minnesota currently has a limit on gathering size, that prevents events with more than 250 people, but an estimated 2,000 people attended his rally in Bemidji.

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