Trump Campaign Asked To Submit Formal Safety Plan For Tulsa Rally

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( Officials with the BOK Center in Oklahoma are requiring President Donald Trump’s campaign to submit a written social distancing plan for its rally this Saturday in Tulsa.

This comes as confirmed coronavirus cases in Oklahoma are spiking, leading some to worry that a large-scale event such as a re-election rally could end up being a “super-spreader” type of event.

BOK Center officials are asking the Trump campaign to submit a written social distancing plan, outlining what steps they’d be taking to ensure all social distancing measures as well as guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are followed. The BOK Center has a capacity of 19,000.

The Center itself will also be taking certain steps to reduce the risk of the spread of the coronavirus. This includes cleaning the arena regularly while the event is taking place, as well as installing partitions of plexiglass in areas of the arena where concessions are sold.

As Meghan Blood, the marketing director for the BOK Center, said in a statement:

“Given the Tulsa Health Department’s recent reports of increases in coronavirus cases and the State of Oklahoma’s encouragement for event organizers to follow CDC guidelines, we have requested that the Trump campaign, as the event organizer, provide BOK Center with a written plan detailing the steps the event will institute for health and safety, including those related to social distancing. Once received, we will share the plan with local health officials.”

In the last two weeks, new coronavirus cases have increased by more than 50% in Oklahoma, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Between June 11-17, there were 1,421 new cases reported, compared to 678 between June 4-10.

More than a third of that total between June 11-17 occurred in Tulsa County, with 517 new confirmed cases.

The Trump campaign has already agreed to conduct temperature checks on all staff and attendees of the event, and they will hand out masks and hand sanitizer to everyone entering the arena. According to BOK Center officials, there will also be 400 hand sanitizing stations set up around the arena.

Even still, some local officials are concerned about a packed house and the potential damaging effects it could have on the local community and beyond. As the director of the Tulsa City-County Health Department, Dr. Bruce Dart, said:

“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. I wish we could postpone this to a time when the virus isn’t as large a concern as it is today.”

For their part, the Trump campaign said it is taking the BOK Center’s request seriously, and also wants to protect the safety of all those attending the event. As Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign director of communications, said in a statement:

“We take safety seriously, which is why we’re doing temperature checks for everyone attending, and providing masks and hand sanitizer. This will be a Trump rally, which means a big, boisterous, excited crowd.

“We don’t recall the media shaming demonstrations about social distancing — in fact, the media were cheering them on.”