Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to hold a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma this Saturday, calling it “the worst-case scenario” for spreading the novel coronavirus.
“The highest risk sort of scenario would be sort of the situation we’re talking about here,” Gupta said, pointing out that the virus spreads more easily in large crowds.
“Indoors, attendees coming from all these various areas, difficult to practice physical distancing, and who knows about what the mask sort of wearing is going to be,” Gupta continued. “There’s no question. This is a contagious virus. Indoors is going to be far worse than outdoors. Not wearing masks a lot worse than wearing masks. Not keeping distance if they’re filled to capacity.”
“There is no magic here. There is no scientific proclamation where you’re going to have some sort of revelation about this. That’s the worst-case scenario,” he concluded. “If there is a person there who has the virus, the idea that it could be spread and turn into a super-spreading event would be a big concern.”
You can watch Gupta’s appearance in the video below.
Gupta’s comments come as the president continues to boast about his planned rally and ignore the concerns from health experts.
The Tulsa Health Department has urged the president to cancel the event altogether, citing fears that it would set off a spike in coronavirus infections in the state.
“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,” Dr. Bruce Dart, the Tulsa City-County Health Department’s director, told Tulsa World over the weekend. “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.”
“COVID is here in Tulsa, it is transmitting very efficiently,” Dart continued. “I wish we could postpone this to a time when the virus isn’t as large a concern as it is today.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.