top of page

Issue 1

September 27th, 2019

Trump rally comes to Greenville to gain votes

THURS. | 10-22-20 | NEWS

SAT. | 10-10-20 | NEWS

     On Thursday, Oct. 15, the first day of early voting in NC, President Donald Trump held a rally at the Pitt-Greenville Airport.

     At the entrance, temperature checks, masks and hand sanitizer were given out. Despite these precautions, however, photos from the rally show the majority of attendees, including the president, not wearing masks or social distancing. Chairs had about one foot of space between them, and the bleachers and standing sections had no extra space at all. 

     “I wore my mask, but I guess since it was an outside event the volunteers couldn't really force people to wear their masks,” senior Emma Combs said.

     The event began with all attendees singing the national anthem and praying. Then, speeches were given by Candidate for NC Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truit and U.S. Representative for NC David Rouzer, who were among those opening the event. 

     “All the speakers talked about how important the

Images contributed by Emma Combs

North Carolina vote is,” junior Mary Bennett Billings said. 

     When Trump arrived on Air Force One and began his portion of the rally at 1:30 p.m., he discussed a variety of topics. These included health insurance, taxes, unemployment rates, COVID-19, the Biden campaign, court packing and illegal immigration. 

     Billings wanted to attend the rally because she knew that there were only so many opportunities to see the President of the United States in-person and she didn’t want to miss that opportunity.

     “I think everyone can say that last election was a really big deal, but this one, it means a lot because to me, if the Biden Harris Administration wins, in my eyes, it’s likely that Joe Biden is going to have to drop out or have to step back from being president and Kamala Harris is going to be president, so she’d be our first female, woman of color president,” Billings said.

     Senior Enrico Randolph, however, is a Trump supporter and feels that his values and goals for the U.S. align with the president’s. Randolph has also noticed the benefits his family has experienced since the 2016 presidential election and credits them to the Trump administration.

     “[My father] works hard to provide for this house, to provide for me, and my sister and my brothers and my mom, and he still gets taxed more than really what he makes so he [had] to work twice as hard … four years ago,” Randolph said. “Ever since Trump came along and got into office, for the first time my father and my mom … since they were married were able to have life insurance.”

     When researching candidates, each of these students went about it a little differently. Randolph, who will be able to vote this year, researched using a website called The Skimm, while both Combs and Billings listened to the news and to their family members. 

     “Considering I’m not actually voting, I don’t take it as seriously as I would if I would be voting, but I feel like I get both sides of the news because my mom is left-leaning and my dad is right-leaning, so I kind of hear everything and just what they’ve done,” Billings said. “I don’t really care what they’ve said but [more] what they’ve done, like what are some tangible things that I can see that they’ve done?”

     Billings said that she felt that the Trump administration should have updated the Republican platform this year because of the changes that have occurred over the past four years, but Combs and Randolph did not take issue with the use of the 2016 platform.

     “We’ve already seen what Trump has done, so it’s not like last election where all we knew was that he was a businessman and he knew about money, but we didn’t know him as a politician, so this election is different because now he’s shown himself as a politician the past three years he has been in office,” Combs said. “I don’t really think [the platform] makes a difference.”

     Protestors, while not at the Trump rally itself, did gather. According to the Pitt County Democratic Party’s Facebook page, there was a rally on the same day against Trump, held at Alice F. Keene District Park, with masks and social distancing.  

     “Thanks to [Trump's] failure of leadership on the pandemic, [the Pitt-Greenville Airport] had to shut down its commercial service,” the Pitt County Democratic Party’s facebook page said. “Trump is also attending this event just 13 days after being hospitalized with COVID [and] the CDC recommends quarantining for at least 20 days after severe cases.” 

     Additionally, The Daily Reflector reported that events were held at the Willis Building, at the “Believe in Greenville” mural, located on Dickinson Avenue, and on a Zoom call. Voter suppression, healthcare and concerns about potential public health effects of Trump’s rally were all discussed at these events.

     Originally, the second debate was scheduled to be held on Oct. 15, but was then cancelled after Trump refused to participate in a virtual debate. Instead, both candidates held televised Town Halls that night. The third and final debate will be held on Thursday, Oct. 22.

     Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 3 this year. Early voting opened in NC on Thursday, Oct. 15 and will close Saturday, Oct. 31. For more information on voting in NC, go the North Carolina State Board of Elections’ website at

bottom of page