Rally Talsa: Trump tempts fate during pandemic while threatening protesters

Rally Talsa: Trump tempts fate during pandemic while threatening protesters

Trump is seeking public attention from his particularly difficult week, which included a series of flattering bombs revealed in a new book by his former national security adviser, John Bolton, who described Trump as unfit for the White House and two failures in its administration regarding LGBTQ rights and immigration to the Supreme Court. Late Friday night, Trump’s attorney general tried to oust a strong U.S. attorney who has been investigating several of the president’s associates, but the Manhattan prosecutor refused to resign.
The President hopes to protest Stubbornness and determination as America faces a pandemic, an economic crash and passionate anti-racism demonstrations, and sees Joe Biden’s opponent as an old-fashioned political relic whose supporters have no enthusiasm for his cause. A spokesman for Trump’s campaign told CNN this week that the rally would signal to the rest of the country “that it’s time to move on.”
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But as supporters rallied in the arena of the Tulsa’s Bank of Oklahoma Center – an indoor venue of 19,000 people – the President zealously encouraged almost all the authorities described by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as Dr. CNN’s Sanjay Gupta noted on Friday.
Trump has long proven his contempt for science, logic, and expert advice, especially if it conflicts with his political goals. Even when he holds the highest office in the country, he has skillfully displayed his image as an outsider operating from the inside in the eyes of his loyal base.

Enjoying his instincts to split at a time when he is following the former vice president with double-digit votes in national polls, Trump has sparked fears of clashes on the streets of Talsa when he warned in a tweet on Friday that protesters would not tolerate law enforcement. .

“Any protesters, anarchists, rioters, looters or looters who go to Oklahoma please understand, they will not treat you like you were in New York, Seattle or Minneapolis. It will be a very different scene!” wrote on Twitter.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany later insisted Friday that the president was referring to “violent protesters, anarchists, looters,” even though the government was in control of the use of force to push peaceful protesters into Lafayette Square.

Health concerns abound in Talsa

The president’s ardent supporters are now lined up for days in Talsa hoping to be among the first participants in his rally, while public health officials are worried that the rally could lead to the rapid spread of Covid-19 in a situation that is already seeing an increase. cases. .

Trump, who claimed the virus was “fading” – in direct contrast to the facts – acknowledged that he and his advisers initially chose the Talsa gathering place in part because Oklahoma, a deep red state that has long voted Republicans, appeared to have a lower incidence of coronary heart disease.

But that has changed in recent weeks. A CNN analysis of corona data from John Hopkins University shows that the number of new Covid-19 cases is increasing daily – and Tulsa is a field of particular interest.

During a press conference on Wednesday, the director of the Tulsa Health Department, Dr. Bruce Dart said Tulsa set a new daily record for corona cases this week.

“Let me be clear. Anyone planning to attend a large-scale rally will face an increased risk of contracting Covid-19,” Dart said.

Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith expressed concern about the scene on the streets of Tulsa during a Friday interview with CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

“No one wears masks and you know people are coming in, Wolf, from all over the country – so they could come from hot spots,” Keith told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, noting that the city expects an additional 40,000 to 60,000 people outside the arena. . “We like to welcome people to our city, but now that we’re at a peak … time is very difficult.”

Trump’s campaign says he intends to conduct temperature checks and provide hand disinfectants and masks to participants, but no one should wear one.

At the event, participants in the rally were asked to agree to a waiver, noting that “there is an inherent risk of exposure to Covid-19 in any public place where people are present.”

“By watching Rally, you and any guest voluntarily take all the risks associated with COVID-19 exposure and agree not to keep Donald J. Trump as President, Inc., BOK Center, ASM Global, or any of the partners. its directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors or volunteers responsible for any illness or injury, ”the denial said.

The politically charged debate over masks has made it even more dangerous to attend. Trump never wore a mask in public, and people around him at the White House are often tempted by giving him an extra security measure.

But he acknowledged this week that the use of masks had become a politically motivated issue. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he said it was possible that some people were wearing masks to show their disapproval of him.

However, when asked by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael C. Bender if he was comfortable with his supporters wearing masks at the Talsa rally, Trump said, “Absolutely.”

“They can wear them or not. I want them to be happy,” he said.

The irony of Trump’s spotlight on June 19

The president decided to give up the opportunity to move on to the nation’s discussion of systematic racism in the United States – instead of demanding “law and order” and issuing divisive tweets such as his Observatory, which put protesters in the same category as ” anarchists, riots, looters. ” or lowlifes. He had created a separate controversy Thursday night through the tweet of a medical virus video that was highlighted by Twitter as “media manipulation” and later removed.
However, the horror of his initial decision to hold the rally in Talsa on June 19 seems ironic that it has led to much greater national recognition of the day honoring the end of slavery. Amid national protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, Trump is reprogramming the rally in what he described as a gesture of respect for June 19.

Both black and white leaders had asked Trump to change the date.

This week, governors in more than half of the 12 dozen states, including Louisiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Nevada and Vermont, are taking action to celebrate June 19.

In Kansas, for example, the Democratic government of Laura Kelly signed a declaration on Friday, declaring June 19 as the nineteenth national freedom. “The nineteenth day is not just a day to celebrate the end of slavery,” Kelly told a news conference on Friday. “It’s an opportunity to recognize the opposite story of a nation, to consider our struggle for real freedom for all Americans, and to continue to fight for the end of systemic racism.”

Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said Thursday he would pass legislation to make the day a federal holiday, as many Democratic senators did.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal this week, Trump said he made “Juneteenth very famous.”

“It’s actually an important event, it’s an important moment. But no one had heard it,” he said in an interview. He added that a young African-American intelligence agent knew what he was celebrating that day, but Trump said he had political people “who had no idea.”

During a press conference on Friday, McEnany said Trump “didn’t just learn about the 19th week this week. It’s just not true,” he said.

McEnany would not say whether the President intends to hold a federal holiday on June 19.

CNN’s Kay Jones and Hollie Silverman contributed to the report.

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