As The Hill’s Brett Samuels reports, President Donald Trump has scheduled a rally for next Thursday in Tulsa, Oklahoma–the first Trump rally since the country with into lockdown to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump’s choice to hold a rally in Tulsa, the scene of an historic race riot, on the Juneteenth holiday commemorating the end of slavery, has been roundly criticized as either insensitive in the extreme or even a deliberate racial provocation.
But there’s another problem with showing up at this rally:
The Trump campaign on Thursday formally announced that the president’s first rally in three months will take place June 19 in Tulsa. The page for guests to sign up for free tickets to the event includes a disclaimer related to the virus.
“By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present,” the statement reads. [Pols emphasis]
“By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury.”
Reading this story, we immediately recalled the February 20 rally hosted by Trump in Colorado Springs with Sen. Cory Gardner. Although Gardner today plays up his supposed serious concerns about the spreading pandemic as early as late January, there was no social distancing to be seen at his rally with Trump and twenty thousand or so friends inside and outside the Broadmoor World Arena–except perhaps when Trump awkwardly denied Gardner’s incoming man hug.
We assume there was some kind of boilerplate disclaimer on the February 20 rally tickets about how attendees arrive at their own risk, and to watch out for foul balls and broken bats. But in retrospect, disclaimer language specifically pertaining to COVID would certainly have been in order on February 20–and Cory Gardner, if he was anything near as presciently worried about the pandemic as he claims he was by that time, would have insisted on it. Or more likely not showed up at all.
Good luck Tulsa, and we’ll check in on your case numbers in a couple of weeks.