TULSA,OK—President Trump’s rally will take place in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, June 20. Health experts have warned that indoor gatherings and crowded venues may help spread the COVID-19 virus and put President and participants at risk.
“I think it’s an honor for Tulsa to have a sitting president want to come and visit our community, but not during a pandemic,” said Dr. Bruce Dart, the Tulsa Health Department’s Director, to Tulsa World. “I’m concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large, indoor event, and I’m also concerned about our ability to ensure the president stays safe as well.”
Dart expressed his concerns about the spread of the virus and said he wishes the rally at BOK Center could be postponed to a later date.
“A large indoor rally with 19-20,000 people is a huge risk factor today in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I want to make sure we can keep everyone in that building safe, including the president,” said Dart. With the factors that many people will gather together and possibly travel from other cities to attend the rally, Dart said the risk of spreading the virus will increase.
As of Sunday, June 14, Oklahoma State Department of Health has reported 158 new cases in the state, marking a new high in daily increases for the county with a total of 8,231 confirmed cases. As of Saturday, June 13, Tulsa Health Department has reported 39 new cases in the city with a total of 1,564 confirmed cases.
On the rally registration website, a waiver shows, “by clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury.”
Thousands of people were protesting in the past few weeks and many experts have also expressed their concerns that crowded rallies could lead to more COVID-19 cases. On June 4, CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield suggested protesters get tested for COVID-19, especially those in metropolitan areas that haven’t controlled the outbreak to the extent they need. He mentioned that it has the potential for virus transmission during these events.