Six members of a campaign advance team working in Tulsa before the Donald Trump rally on Saturday tested positive for COVID-19, his campaign said hours before the president got ready to go on stage.
The announcement was likely to further fuel concerns that the rally, Trump’s first since the pandemic ended major political campaigns on the ground, could be a “super broadcaster” event as the coronavirus turns out resistant in several states and cities, including Tulsa.
“In accordance with security protocols, campaign staff are tested for COVID-19 before the events,” said Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for the Trump campaign, in a statement.
“Six members of the advanced team tested positive on hundreds of tests performed, and quarantine procedures were immediately implemented,” said Murtaugh.
“No positive COVID staff member or anyone in immediate contact will be present at today’s meeting or near the participants and elected officials.”
Crowds of Trump supporters converge on Tulsa for the President’s rally, which is held in an indoor arena that can accommodate around 20,000 people.
Supporters have already started broadcasting on the site. Depending on the campaign, all rally participants are subjected to temperature controls, face masks and hand sanitizer.
Some Trump officials have said that the use of masks is requested but not mandatory, and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has said she will not wear a mask at the rally.
Critics, including officials from the city of Tulsa, have expressed concern that the event contravenes several guidelines issued by the U.S. government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding large indoor spaces, social distancing and the use of masks.
(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)