Next week marks President Donald Trump’s first re-election rally since March as the spread of COVID-19 forced him and rival Joe Biden off the campaign trail.
Amid the spread of the coronavirus, the Trump Campaign is requiring attendees to sign a waiver.
Until Friday, gatherings of 250 were still discouraged by the CDC. Now, the CDC recommends that cloth masks are used by attendees at mass gatherings.
“By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID--19 exists in any public place where people are present,” the waiver reads. “By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury.”
The BOK Center has a capacity of 19,000, although it’s unclear if every seat in the venue will be available. With the absence of major sporting events and concerts in recent months, Trump’s rally may end up being one of the largest indoor gatherings since the coronavirus began to spread in earnest in March.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum is supportive of hosting Trump’s first campaign rally since March.
“Tulsans have managed one of the first successful reopenings in the nation, so we can only guess that may be the reason President Trump selected Tulsa as a rally site,” he told Scripps station KJRH. “The City of Tulsa continues to follow the State of Oklahoma’s OURS plan on COVID-19 response as it relates to events, which encourages the organizer to have enhanced hygiene considerations for attendees.”
In an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl, Dr. Anthony Fauci said there is a risk to attending mass gatherings, whether they be protests or political rallies.
"You know, it's a danger to the people who are trying to control the demonstration," he said. "And it's a danger to the people who are demonstrating. So at the end of the day, it is a risky procedure."
Last week, CDC head Robert Redfield said on Capitol Hill that he is concerned that protests could lead to coronavirus “seeding” events, which could prompt a new outbreak of the virus.
Oklahoma had its largest one-day jump in coronavirus cases, with 222 new cases reported in the state on Friday.
Trump also said he has rallies planned for Arizona, Florida, Texas and North Carolina.