And the rally is taking place amid nationwide protests – including in Tulsa – against systemic racism. The event was originally scheduled to take place on June 19, a celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, before the campaign rescheduled last week after growing criticism. The rally will be approximately one mile from the location of the Tulsa Race Massacre – one of the worst racist attacks in American history in which white mobs burned the black community of Greenwood, known as Black Wall Street, on June 1, 1921.
Marq Lewis, a community-based activist at We the People Oklahoma in Tulsa, described the visit as deliberately flammable. “We are already tender and the emotions are high. People feel like they can’t celebrate their 19th birthday the way they want to celebrate without the backdrop and shadow of Donald Trump. “
The president is met by hundreds of people protesting for racial justice – a prospect that has been very dear to him in the past few days.
“All protesters, anarchists, agitators, pillagers, or lowlifes who go to Oklahoma please understand that you will not be treated as you were in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a completely different scene, ”said Trump Friday tweetedRevives concerns over his mingling of peaceful anti-racism protesters with looters.
The president has been striving to leave the coronavirus crisis behind for months, and Saturday’s event will be the first major test of his conviction that America is ready to reopen without social distancing or even masks – and despite increasing infection rates in Arizona, Florida and other large states.
If he’s right, Trump has a chance to advertise as he wants for the next four months: crank up loud crowds across the nation, step out of the defensive, and reset conditions for the 2020 race while his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, is more cautious.
This theory has sharply conflicted him with health professionals in Oklahoma and across the country.
As local health officials try to circumvent the rally policy, they continue to remind residents of Oklahoma and other rallyers of the dangers of major events during the Covid-19 pandemic. “As outlined by the CDC, people wishing to attend a large-scale gathering are at increased risk of becoming infected with Covid-19 and becoming a carrier of this novel virus,” said an Oklahoma Department of Health spokesman in one Statement.
“I think it is an honor for Tulsa that a seated president wants to visit our community, but not during a pandemic,” said Brad Dart, director of the Tulsa Ministry of Health the Tulsa world. “I am concerned about our ability to protect anyone attending a major indoor event and I am concerned about our ability to ensure that the President remains safe.”
The rally comes when Oklahoma sees an increase in Covid 19 cases 352 new cases Friday in the state alone – the second largest one-day jump during the crisis.
The Trump campaign has sent mixed messages about whether the rally is safe for participants. The president told reporters, “Everyone will be safe” while registration for tickets was accompanied by confirmation that “all guests voluntarily assume all risks associated with exposure to COVID-19” and that they are not the campaign or center could hold liable.
White House spokesman Kayleigh McEnany said masks are “recommended but not required”. The campaign envisaged giving each participant a mask, a hand disinfectant and a temperature check.
The president and his allies see the event as an opportunity to go on the offensive again after a politically brutal spring. National and swing-state polls show Trump is lagging behind Biden, along with growing criticism of his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and protests against the police brutality that is sweeping across the nation.
With the crowd cheering him on, Trump will have the stage to fight back anyone who has criticized him in the past three months – unfiltered, without interruption or shouting questions from reporters.
Although his campaign officially started in Florida last June, the president was Friday tweeted: “My campaign has not started yet. It starts on Saturday evening in Oklahoma!”