Even the most sensible public health measure has been abandoned.
Donald Trump’s demonstration last weekend at the Tulsa Bank of Oklahoma Center was empty by two-thirds, which should have left plenty of room for participants to practice social detachment. But trying to maintain public health standards would never be on the event’s menu: participants were forced to sign a waiver agreeing that they would not sue the campaign if they contracted the coronavirus, and an Oklahoma court refused to order the campaign. impose social distance and wearing a mandate mask at the rally.
Thus, although the event thanked for a low participation, the people who attended were grouped instead of spreading throughout the venue in a safer way. Billboard and The Washington Post reports can help explain why: Workers appear to have removed social distance stickers from the seats at the venue prior to the event.
The Post got a video of volunteers saying “Don’t sit here, please!” stickers that dotted all the other seats in at least one section of the arena, while Doug Thornton, executive vice president of the company that runs the BOK Center, told Billboard that the campaign “told us they didn’t want any signs saying we should distance ourselves socially. the location “, and that” passed and removed the stickers “.
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In a statement to the Washington Post, a Trump campaign spokesman described the rally as “in full compliance with local requirements” and said participants had their temperatures checked before entering the site and were given masks and access to disinfectant. Temperature checks can mean much of the safety theater, given the prevalence of asymptomatic transmission and the fact that not all patients with COVID-19 develop fever. And rally journalists reported that few participants wore masks.
On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that Tulsa was seeing record increases in COVID-19 cases, but that it was too early to attribute the increase – which started before the rally and should have been sufficient reason to cancel it – to the event . On Friday, Oklahoma Watch journalist Paul Monies tweeted that he had tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the rally. Since attending the event with the president, dozens of Secret Service members have been instructed to isolate themselves.