Six members of an advance team who were organizing President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa this weekend have tested positive for coronavirus.
The staff members had been in the city ahead of today’s June 20 event, which is expected to draw tens of thousands despite warnings from public health officials against large public gatherings.
Communication Director of the campaign team, Tim Murtaugh, said today, June 12: “per safety protocols, campaign staff are tested for Covid-19 before events. Six members of the advance team tested positive out of hundreds of tests performed, and quarantine procedures were immediately implemented.”
“No COVID-positive staffers or anyone in immediate contact will be at today’s rally or near attendees and elected officials.”
Mr Murtaugh said all rally attendees would be given temperature checks before going security.
President Trump’s decision to hold a mass rally inside a 19,000-seat arena inside Tulsa, Oklahoma, has drawn criticism at a time when cases of the coronavirus are spiking in Oklahoma, and Tulsa specifically.
“Let me be clear: Anyone trying to attend a large-scale gathering will face an increased risk of becoming infected with COVID-19,” Bruce Dart, executive director of the Tulsa Health Department, said.
House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has described the president’s rally an “ego trip” that would “endanger” people’s health in an interview with CNN.
“For the President to have this ego trip that he wants to take to Tulsa … for the vice president of the United States to go visiting places without a mask, is a bad example to the public,” she said.
More than 120,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the US, and more than 2 million people infected. While the number of confirmed cases nationwide appeared to have plateaued, outbreaks in the south and west of the country have threatened to undo much of the progress made through lockdowns.
New daily cases exceeded 30,000 on Friday for the first time in seven weeks.