President Donald Trump’s rally at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska, ended around 9 p.m. Tuesday, but hundreds of attendees wouldn’t make their way out of the freezing cold until a few hours later.
As Trump jetted back to Washington on Air Force One, his supporters lined up to wait for buses to take them back to their cars, which were parked miles away from the event.
But the buses, organized by the Trump campaign, were staggeringly slow to return. There were plenty of buses, the campaign told the Omaha World-Herald, but they were stuck in traffic after the rally because the two-lane airport access road was limited to one direction.
“We need at least 30 more buses,” one Omaha police officer told CNN after the rally, reportedly shaking his head at the chaotic scene.
The temperature dropped as low as 31 degrees Tuesday night. Several people reportedly required medical attention. At least two people received help from police, including an elderly woman warming up in the back of a police cruiser and a young boy, according to the World-Herald.
The majority of people were shuttled back by around midnight, with the last few stragglers reportedly boarding buses around 12:40 a.m. Wednesday.
Trump’s campaign did not immediately return HuffPost’s request for comment, nor did the Omaha Police Department and Omaha Airport Authority.
Thousands of people packed Trump’s outdoor rally in Omaha on Tuesday. Though the campaign checked attendees’ temperatures and provided them with masks, many people in the crowd opted not to wear them, prompting concerns over the possibility of the coronavirus spreading.
COVID-19 cases have reached record highs in Nebraska in recent weeks as infection rates surge across dozens of states. But Trump told the crowd in Omaha that the U.S. was “turning that corner” on the pandemic.
Trump joked about the frigid conditions at one point during his rally Tuesday.
“I’m standing here freezing,” the president told the rallygoers, many of whom would be doing the same for another three hours after he wrapped up his speech. “I ask you one little favor: Get the hell out and vote.”