Two more members of President Donald Trump's reelection campaign have tested positive for the coronavirus following Saturday’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The two staffers, who were both part of the advance team in Tulsa, "attended the rally but were wearing masks during the entire event," Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh confirmed. Murtaugh said that after receiving the positive test results, "the campaign immediately activated established quarantine and contact tracing protocols."
The two positive tests, first reported by CNBC, bring the total number of advance team members for the Tulsa event who have tested positive for the virus to eight, with six staffers testing positive just ahead of the rally. A person familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN that two members of the Secret Service have also tested positive, and NBC reports that the number of people connected to the event to contract the virus is expected to rise.
Marking his first rally since the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country, the president's Tulsa rally had drawn considerable concern from experts, who feared that the thousands of people gathered at BOK Center could contribute to furthering the spread. Attendees at the rally were not required to adhere to a number of guidelines stressed by experts as helping to prevent the spread of the virus, including them not being required to wear face masks or practice social distancing. The campaign did, however, administer temperature checks and distributed hand sanitizer and masks to attendees, who were required to sign a disclaimer agreeing not to sue the Trump campaign in the case they contracted the virus. The disclaimer also had attendees acknowledge the "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," the disclaimer reads.
During the event, which drew a crowd of 6,200 — far lower than the million people who had registered their interest in the rally — the president made several comments about the pandemic. Along with again calling the virus by racist names when making reference to China, Trump also said that he “said to my people, slow the testing down, please.” Several people close to the president, including White House spokesman Kayleigh McEnany, have told reporters that the president was only joking.