Looks Like Trump Campaign Really Made COVID-19 Great Again At Tulsa Rally
Donald Trump's Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally last week was a big, steaming flop. Now new details are emerging about just how much the Trump campaign thwarted even the most modest precautions the venue put in place to protect attendees from the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Washington Post, the BOK Center tried its best to keep rally-goers from rubbing virus all over each other. Management bought 12,000 "Do Not Sit Here, Please!" stickers that were intended to keep open seats between death cult members. Last Saturday, the event staff had placed the stickers on almost every other seat in the arena.
This annoyed the Trump campaign, which was expecting a packed, overflow crowd of dummies. Would you put "Do Not Sit Here, Please!" stickers on seats at a venue hosting a Michael Jackson concert? Well, you might if Jackson was still alive and the concert was scheduled shortly after Netflix's Leaving Neverland documentary, which is about where Trump's popularity is right now. Also, there's a pandemic going on that makes gathering indoors among thousands of racist strangers less desirable than usual.
So of course the campaign had the stickers removed. Look, watch!
Trump's Tulsa campaign workers removing social distancing stickers. youtu.be
Doug Thornton, executive vice president of ASM Global, which manages the venue, confirmed in an interview with Billboard that the Trump campaign interfered with the BOK Center's most basic safety precautions.
"They [...] told us that they didn't want any signs posted saying we should social distance in the venue," Thornton said. "The campaign went through and removed the stickers."
Thornton wasn't part of some liberal cabal dedicated to making Trump look bad. ASM was adhering to the company's new VenueShield program, developed with the help of doctors, industry experts, and infectious disease specialists. The objective is to slow the spread of COVID-19 at ASM's 325 worldwide venues. This seems reasonable, especially at a general admission events where all seats are first come, first serve. ASM continued putting stickers on every other seat regardless of what Trump's dolts demanded, so campaign staff started removing the stickers themselves in preparation for President Grand Dragon's arrival.
Anyone with any sense had already begged Trump not to have his ego stroking party. Despite Mike Pence's lies that Oklahoma had flattened the curve, COVID-19 cases in the state were moving in inverse proportion to Trump's national approval rating. But it wasn't enough to just ignore medical experts and hold Trump's Klan bake as scheduled, the campaign wanted to pretend COVID-19 didn't exist and it was still 2019 when Trump could spout his racist garbage to (what he'd claim was) a standing-room-only crowd.
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh put the same tired spin on this public health disaster.
"The rally was in full compliance with local requirements. In addition, every rally attendee received a temperature check prior to admission, was given a face mask, and provided ample access to hand sanitizer," Murtaugh said in an emailed statement.
That's all meaningless if social distancing wasn't promoted inside the arena. There's no evidence that people took their free souvenir masks. They probably also refused to wash their hands because screw liberals, huh?
Here’s just a few of the #BlackVoicesForTrump at tonight’s rally! Having a fantastic time! #TulsaRally2020… https://t.co/E0v2PpYxp9— Herman Cain (@Herman Cain)1592696982.0
The arena was half empty or more, so the audience could've been safely separated, but the Trump campaign felt its greatest priority was protecting the president's fragile ego. The crowd was clustered together when Trump took the stage. Now, we guess we just wait for the murders to begin. Since the rally, at least eight Trump staffers have tested positive for COVID-19 and many others have been asked to self-quarantine (not just because they work for Trump).
"We know that eight Trump campaign staff members that were here tested positive for the coronavirus and we know that two of them were intermingling with the people in the arena," said Tulsa Police Department corporal David Crow during a Tulsa Public Facilities Authority meeting Tuesday. "Obviously, we know that that event probably triggered some type of broader infection."
Trump's campaign manager (for now) Brad Pascale is in “quasi-quarantine," which sounds like quasi-sobriety. He's working from home and won't return to the office until he's tested for COVID-19 or Trump's no longer getting his ass stomped in every swing state. He returned to Florida on a commercial fight, and God knows how much coronavirus had hitched a ride on his neckbeard.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."