Trump holds potential superspreader rally in Cullman, Alabama, two days after the city declared a COVID-19 state of emergency

Thousands of supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump wait in line to attend a 'Save America' rally at York Family Farms on August 21, 2021 in Cullman, Alabama.
Thousands of supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump wait in line to attend a ‘Save America’ rally at York Family Farms on August 21, 2021 in Cullman, Alabama. With the number of coronavirus cases rising rapidly and no more ICU beds available in Alabama, the host city of Cullman declared a COVID-19-related state of emergency two days before the Trump rally. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, 67.5% of the state’s population has not been fully vaccinated. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A state of local emergency was declared on Thursday in Cullman, Alabama, as hospital and emergency room overcrowding, bed and labor shortages, and an ambulance crisis strained its health care system.

Two days later, former President Donald Trump held a “Save America” rally that drew thousands of maskless attendees to the city.

Supporters attend former U.S. President Donald Trump's 'Save America' rally at York Family Farms on August 21, 2021 in Cullman, Alabama.
Supporters attend former U.S. President Donald Trump’s ‘Save America’ rally at York Family Farms on August 21, 2021 in Cullman, Alabama. With the number of coronavirus cases rising rapidly and no more ICU beds available in Alabama, the host city of Cullman declared a COVID-19-related state of emergency two days before the Trump rally. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, 67.5% of the state’s population has not been fully vaccinated. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

After being introduced by George C. Scott’s famous “Patton” speech and “God Bless the U.S.A,” Trump spoke to a crowd of thousands at York Family Farms about usual stump topics like Russia, immigration, the “radical left,” and COVID-19, which he continues to call the “China virus.”

Attendees, many of whom donned Trump memorabilia or red, white, and blue, chanted “USA!” and “We want Trump!”

Former U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up as he finishes addressing a 'Save America' rally at York Family Farms on August 21, 2021 in Cullman, Alabama.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up as he finishes addressing a ‘Save America’ rally at York Family Farms on August 21, 2021 in Cullman, Alabama. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Cases in Cullman County, which includes the city of Cullman, are extremely high, with a 218% increase in hospitalizations over the last two weeks, according to data from The New York Times.

Nesha Donaldson, chief operating officer of Cullman Regional Medical Center, asked the city to provide additional resources, such as EMT services, at the rally to reduce the potential further strain on the hospital.

An August 18 update from Cullman Regional said that it is currently treating 53 patients for COVID, 12 of whom are on ventilators.

Alabama Hospital Association President Donald Williamson said in an interview with WSFA 12 News on Tuesday that the state has run out of intensive care unit beds.