Jun 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Tulsa health director says he wishes Trump would postpone rally

trump rally
A Trump rally in 2018. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Tulsa City-County Health Department director Bruce Dart told Tulsa World in an interview that he wishes President Trump would postpone his campaign rally on June 20, citing a "significant increase" in coronavirus case trends that could put both the public and Trump himself at risk.

The big picture: Dart's concerns have been echoed by public health experts who say hosting large crowds in an indoor venue without a requirement for face masks could prove to be dangerous. Trump's campaign has informed attendees that the president cannot be held liable if they contract COVID-19.

  • Multiple states are reporting new daily records of coronavirus hospitalizations as much of the country continues to reopen.
  • Tulsa County’s seven-day rolling average has risen from 24.9 cases on June 7 to 51.4 on June 12, according to Tulsa World.

What they're saying: “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. 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," Dart said.

  • “COVID is here in Tulsa, it is transmitting very efficiently. I wish we could postpone this to a time when the virus isn’t as large a concern as it is today.”
  • “People are not staying home now, they’re out and about. I completely understand that, staying closed just wasn’t feasible economically and from an emotional, physical perspective. So if we’re going to be out, we shouldn’t be in enclosed spaces and we shouldn’t have extended contact with other people because that’s where the risk lies.”
  • “A large indoor rally with 19-20,000 people is a huge risk factor today in Tulsa, Oklahoma ... I want to make sure we can keep everyone in that building safe, including the president.”

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