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SDSU Researchers Trace Surge In Coronavirus Cases To South Dakota Motorcycle Rally

Bikers ride down Main Street during the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020.
Amy Harris / Invision / Associated Press
Bikers ride down Main Street during the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020.
A new report by San Diego State University’s Center for Health Economics And Policy Studies estimates more than 260,000 cases can be linked to the rally. But questions have been raised about the study's methodology and its findings.

Packing hundreds of thousands of mask-less revelers into a small town lined with bars amid a global pandemic seems like an ideal petri dish in which to spread the coronavirus. And that’s exactly what San Diego State researchers said happened a few weeks ago in South Dakota at the 80th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally.

A new report by San Diego State University’s Center for Health Economics and Policy Studies estimates more than 260,000 cases can be linked to the rally. But questions have been raised about the study's methodology and its findings. San Diego public health officials said two local COVID-19 infections are connected to the rally.

RELATED: States Report Coronavirus Cases Linked To Sturgis, S.D., Motorcycle Rally

Joseph Sabia, director of the center and co-author of the report, joined Midday Edition on Thursday to discuss his research into mass gatherings during the pandemic — from Sturgis to President Trump's Tulsa rally.