Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I) rebuked President Donald Trump for his decision to move ahead with a planned rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma this Saturday.
“I find it literally incomprehensible that the president, who is an extraordinary narcissist, is willing to sacrifice the health not only of the people who attend his indoor rally, but those people who come into contact with the people who attend the indoor rally,” Sanders told The Associated Press.
“You have public officials in Oklahoma begging him not to do this rally. It is in defiance of what science is telling us is appropriate. And the leader of the United States government is defying science in order to hear cheers from his supporters,” he added. “It is incredibly irresponsible.”
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has pushed back against criticism of the president’s decision.
“As in any event you assume a personal risk. That is just what you do. When you go to a baseball game, you assume a risk. That’s part of life. It’s a personal decision of Americans as to whether to go to the rally or whether not to go to the rally,” McEnany said. She added that the Trump campaign is providing masks and hand sanitizer to those who attend.
But those statements go against the advice Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the national authority on the novel coronavirus. He cautioned Americans not to attend Saturday’s event.
“I’m in a high-risk category. Personally, I would not. Of course not,” Fauci, who is 79, said.
The rally remains a point of contention for many critics, particularly the Tulsa Health Department, which has urged the president to cancel the event altogether, citing fears that it would set off a spike in coronavirus infections in the state.