At Wednesday’s White House briefing, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was confronted with the fact that President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma led to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases. Her reply was to plead ignorance: “I have no data to indicate that.”
However, according to a health official in Tulsa, the pattern of cases indicates it is “likely” that it did just that.
“President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa in late June that drew thousands of participants and large protests ‘likely contributed’ to a dramatic surge in new coronavirus cases, Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said Wednesday,” reported Sean Murphy for the Associated Press. “Tulsa County reported 261 confirmed new cases on Monday, a one-day record high, and another 206 cases on Tuesday. By comparison, during the week before the June 20 Trump rally, there were 76 cases on Monday and 96 on Tuesday.”
While the health department did not specifically name Trump’s rally as the source per policy, Dart said, “In the past few days, we’ve seen almost 500 new cases, and we had several large events just over two weeks ago, so I guess we just connect the dots.”
Trump’s rallies have attracted criticism for not requiring masks or enforcing physical distancing. Indeed, workers removed stickers from seats that were intended to tell people how far apart to sit at the Tulsa rally.