Despite rising coronavirus cases in Oklahoma, President Trump is forging ahead to host a rally in Tulsa tomorrow that is expected to be attended by thousands.
Trump said in a Wall Street Journal interview that some people at the rally this Saturday may catch coronavirus, but added “it’s a very small percentage.”
Oklahoma is seeing a steady increase in its average of new confirmed cases per day. According to a CNN analysis of Johns Hopkins University data, Oklahoma averaged about 203 new cases per day over the week ending June 17, which is up approximately 110% from the previous seven-day period.
As of Thursday morning, Tulsa County currently has the most cases — 1,825 total — of any county in the state, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. New cases in Tulsa County have also been climbing, and the county is now seeing its highest seven-day average for new cases at 73.9, according to the Tulsa Health Department.
“Unfortunately, we continue to set new records in the number of cases reported in Tulsa County,” Bruce Dart, the director of the Tulsa Health Department, said Wednesday at a news conference.
Dart noted Wednesday he recommended that the Trump rally be postponed “until it’s safer, until the data tells us that it’s not as large a concern,” to have people in enclosed spaces.
The Tulsa rally is the President’s first since coronavirus shut down the country and halted all in-person campaigning.
Local and campaign officials tell CNN that more than a million people have RSVP’d to the rally. A local official involved in planning said they expected 100,000 to show up at the Bank of Oklahoma Center on Saturday. The venue can hold just under 20,000.
Attendees will not be required to maintain social distance or wear masks, despite the Trump administration’s top public health officials stressing the importance of both measures in preventing the spread of coronavirus.
Two days before the rally is set to take place, a spokesperson for the BOK Center said it had asked the Trump campaign to provide a written plan for safety measures for the event.