Health experts aren't too confident in the safety of Donald Trump's upcoming rally on June 20th in Tulsa, Oklahoma. With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, Dr. Bruce Dart, who is the director of the Tulsa City-County Health Department, shared his reservations about the upcoming event and the threat it could impose.
Speaking to the Tulsa World, Dart said he is "concerned" with it being an indoor event with many people in attendance, adding that he's also worried about keeping the president safe, as well. Dart called it an "honor" to be the site of Trump's first rally since the outbreak began, but is not confident in the trajectory that the city is seeing its latest numbers. He said the disease is spreading "very efficiently" in the area, explaining that he wished the president would postpone the date to another time when the virus "isn't as large a concern."
While Dart voiced his issues of the upcoming event, James Lankford, a Republican senator from Oklahoma, said the numbers are just "a little bit of a bump" in an interview on ABC's This Week. He noted that deaths continue to be on the decline and has urged people who are high risk to not attend the rally, "high-risk folks need to be able to step back and everybody needs to be able to take responsibility for their own health." While high-risk persons are being asked not to attend, it's still unclear what safety measures will be implemented at the rally. Larry Kudlow, the White House economic adviser, said social distancing would be practiced and face coverings to be worn in "key places." Facial coverings, though, haven't yet to be ruled a must at the rally, merely a suggestion as of Kudlow's last appearance on CNN's State of the Union with Jake Tapper.
With mixed messages being sent on the safety of the rally, one thing that has been revealed is that those who attend will need to agree to a disclaimer that if they contract COVID-19 at the event, they will not able to sue Trump's campaign. The waiver will have guests sign off that "by attending the rally," all inherent risks fall on their own shoulders.
Tulsa's rally has been in the spotlight the past week for its concerns over safety, but quickly came under heat when it was announced that the date would fall on June 19. The Juneteenth celebration marks the end of slavery with the upcoming date signifying 155 years since the day. The original date ended up being pushed back a day after a mass of backlash came Trump's way.