“Sturgis was a really clear warning sign for us,” Sununu said during a press conference. “I don’t think anyone has seen the pictures in Sturgis and said, ‘That looks safe.’ “
But Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, said the New Hampshire event would not be the same as the one in Sturgis: There would be no vendor stalls for protesters to have can gather.
“It won̵7;t be the same as usual,” he told The Washington Post, “but also, what else?”
He said the organizers were not sure how many people would attend, as they “had never held a rally under these conditions.”
After the event was delayed for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, New Hampshire officials promised a shortened rally. Laconia Mayor Andrew Hosmer (D) pledged on Monday that the protest “will only take place in name,” with a smaller crowd, no salesperson’s tents and no concerts or shoots. firework.
Like the residents of Sturgis, 60% of them have not agreed to hold a rally in their town this year, many in Laconia say the event should not have taken place at all, Laconia Daily Sun reported.
City Director Scott Myers told the newspaper that “the photos from Sturgis do not help” with the efforts of officials to make a miniature event safe.
But St. Clair, a representative of the Democratic Party, was not interested in the photos of masses of unmasked cyclists lined up along Sturgis’ main road. He was there.
While driving his black Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail 2000 motorcycle to his 44th Sturgis rally, St. Clair has heard reports that Sturgis is expected to attract around 250,000 motorcycle enthusiasts this year, about half of last year’s estimated attendees. He estimated that the protest, which lasted from August 7 to August 16, dropped even more than was expected.
“The campsites are always full of places,” he said. “This year is not like that at all. There are many, many empty websites. With the naked eye, it can be seen quite clearly that very few attendees. They looked forward to that, and we look forward to it in Laconia this year as well. There is no doubt about that. “
In addition to being less attended, St. Clair saw many people wearing masks, although he admitted that he also saw people taking them off in the summer heat.
Tens of thousands have flocked into the town of South Dakota, home to less than 7,000 residents, starting Friday to enjoy the resemblance with regular demonstrations. City spokesperson Christina Steele told The Post, despite predictions of lower voter turnout rates, the South Dakota Department of Transportation’s traffic volume fell just 6% in the first half of the campaign. 10 day race.
In a state that has never enforced the disabling of coronavirus, attendees celebrated their individual freedoms.
“Screw COVID,” read a t-shirt sold at the event. “I went to Sturgis.”
South Dakota Governor Kristi L. Noem (R) expressed pride in the gathering, telling Fox News that her state has demonstrated its ability to hold large gatherings, such as a fireworks display. July 4 by President Trump at Mount Rushmore, without concern that the virus will spread across state routes.
“We hope everyone will come,” Noem said of the motorcycle rally. “Our economy benefits when people come and visit us.”
Meanwhile, health officials have cited Sturgis’ rally as a cause of concern.
“One of the things we are very transparent about is that whenever you bring people together – especially if you bring together individuals from areas that could be at higher risk of covid-19 in their community – that poses a risk of covid-19 transmission, ”state epidemiologist Joshua Clayton said at a press conference last week.
Epidemiologists have warned that asymptomatic carriers could unknowingly infect others, pushing the pandemic as groups gather.
South Dakota reported 1,136 confirmed cases per 100,000 people, compared with 513 cases in New Hampshire. Over the past week, South Dakota averages 92 daily cases, compared with 24 in New Hampshire.
St. Clair said he can easily distance himself from others and feels that attendees do too, adding that indifference about the threat of the virus “is not just for motorcyclists. “.
“There are a lot of people who think this is a fake,” he said. “They’re everywhere, not just in Laconia and not in Sturgis, because of that matter.”
Chelsea Janes contributed to this report.