President Trump is planning on holding his first campaign rally in months on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where infections are rising. After having to postpone the event to avoid Juneteenth, Tulsa Officials are pleading with him to either cancel or hold the rally outdoors. The rally is set to be hosted at the BOK Center, which can hold up to 19,000 people. As states begin to reopen, spikes in coronavirus numbers are expected. As businesses reopen, there is going to be increased contact that will increase the number of infected. Therefore, large gatherings are still not recommended. While campaign rallies are essential, especially with election fast-approaching, hosting a rally with a large crowd indoors is not a great idea.
Since the state’s surge in numbers, the Oklahoma Department of Health has tripled its contact tracing team and continues to provide free testing centers across the state, with a dozen in Tulsa County. As the number of cases continues to spike each day, the director of the Tulsa Health Department, Bruce Dart, implores Trump to postpone the rally. While Dart said that he was proud that the president chose Tulsa for the first campaign rally in months, it is still too dangerous due to the risk of coronavirus transmission. The Oklahoma Department of Health is urging senior citizens and others who are vulnerable to stay at home and watch a live stream of the president’s rally. His concerns for being able to protect anyone who attends the large indoor event are valid, especially with the Trump campaign saying it can’t be held liable if a rally attendee contracts coronavirus.
Anyone planning on attending the rally is expected to register and sign a waiver acknowledging the “inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present.” Trump’s campaign believes that the large crowds at the protests over the death of George Floyd have opened the door to events like rallies. While the masks and hand sanitizer will be distributed at the rally as guests enter, the use of neither will be mandatory. Attendees will be required to pass a temperature check. There have not been any plans announced, if there are any, for social distancing within the arena. With individuals gathering without requiring proper precautions, it will make it easier for the virus to be transmitted.
As states have begun to reopen, several have seen spikes in coronavirus cases. Tulsa, Oklahoma, is no different, as the city has seen daily spikes in numbers. Even as states were set to reopen, large gatherings are still not recommended. The Trump campaign is expected to host its first rally in months this Saturday at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, even though Tulsa Health Officials want to cancel the event. The BOK Center can host up to 19,000, and a large gathering like that will make the transmission of the coronavirus easier. As long as attendees sign a waiver that they will not sue if they catch the virus, the campaign has no problem with holding the event.
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