This unfortunate and hopefully soon-expiring moment in U.S. history, Donald Trump’s presidency, has been anything but subtle in summoning the worst energies, impulses, and dimensions embedded in the nation’s history and still animating contemporary culture and politics.
Bruce Dart, the director of the Tulsa City–County Health Department, has confirmed that the rally President Donald Trump held in the city last month contributed to a surge of coronavirus cases. On Monday, there were 261 cases, the highest the county has seen since the crisis began.
“Right now we do have the highest number of cases [in Oklahoma],” Dart said. “We’ve had some significant events in the past few weeks that more than likely contributed to that.”
Of the Trump rally, Dart said, “The past two days we’ve had almost 500 cases, and we knew we had several large events a little over two weeks ago, which is about right. So I guess we just connect the dots.”
The Trump rally responded soon after, though it blamed protesters who in recent weeks have marched against racial injustice and police brutality for the spike in cases of the virus. Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for the Trump campaign, falsely claimed that Black Lives Matter protesters of taking “literally no health precautions” though evidence from those on the ground has shown that the majority of protesters have worn masks during demonstrations.
“There were literally no health precautions to speak of as thousands looted, rioted, and protested in the streets and the media reported that it did not lead to a rise in coronavirus cases,” Murtaugh said. “Meanwhile, the President’s rally was 18 days ago, all attendees had their temperature checked, everyone was provided a mask, and there was plenty of hand sanitizer available for all. It’s obvious that the media’s concern about large gatherings begins and ends with Trump rallies.”
The rally went against the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which notes that “Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area” pose the highest risk for transmitting infections.
President Trump has scheduled a rally in New Hampshire for this Saturday.
The Trump campaign thought that their worst-case scenario was a crowd of 60,000 for his Tulsa rally, but they were 54,000 short.
Trump is said to be furious over being embarrassed by the fact that his big rally in Tulsa only drew 6,200 attendees.
The Trump campaign is blaming far-left protesters for blocking the gates, which there is no evidence of, for the small rally crowd in Tulsa.
Trump admitted just for a few seconds during his Tulsa rally that his presidential campaign is not going well, and is failing.
Trump blamed walking three blocks, saluting, the sun, his shoes, making a speech and the ramp itself for why he couldn't walk down a ramp.
President Donald Trump slammed his opponent, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, for holding an event that adhered to social distancing guidelines.
“Joe Biden’s rally. ZERO enthusiasm!” tweeted Trump.
Joe Biden’s rally. ZERO enthusiasm! pic.twitter.com/IB2BrrmTPH
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
In a statement, Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman, said Biden, who has held fewer campaign events, is leading a ploy to avoid potential embarrassment with the general public.
“This is obviously a tactic to help him avoid errors and embarrassing, lost trains of thought, while also conveniently preventing the press corps from asking him any questions in person,” he said.
Trump’s attack comes just 24 hours before he is due to hold a widely derided rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma tomorrow. 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.
The city of Tulsa announced a curfew last night that will also be in effect Friday and Saturday in the area where the president’s rally is being held.
“This is an unprecedented event for the City of Tulsa and has hundreds of moving parts, we are asking for everyone’s help in making this a safe event for all citizens,” the city’s police department tweeted.
Trump is advertising to his supporters in states that are experiencing high COVID outbreaks, like Arizona, to get them to his Tulsa rally.