Daily US Times: President Donald Trump’s rally on Saturday in Tulsa, his first since March, can go ahead, Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled.
A lawsuit was filed this week to stop the 20 June event over concerns that it could increase the spread of Covid-19 in the community.
Local health officials have expressed concerns over hosting the rally as virus cases are rising in Oklahoma.
The Trump campaign says they received over 1m ticket requests for the rally. The queue for the event at the Bank of Oklahoma Center – which seats 19,000 people – began forming earlier this week.
The Republican president is facing tough re-election prospects in November. He is hoping to reboot his campaign after a rocky week that has seen news of sinking opinion poll numbers, two damning tell-all memoirs, a resurgence in coronavirus cases, and twin US Supreme Court defeats.
John Hope Franklin for Reconciliation, a nonprofit organisation that promotes racial equality, filed the lawsuit to cancel Trump’s rally.
They argued the rally should impose social distancing guidelines in accordance with US public health officials’ recommendations, or it should be cancelled.
But the Supreme Court of Oklahoma said that as the state had begun to reopen, the regulations left social distancing decisions up to individual business owners.
The state has seen a recent spike in coronavirus cases.
Trump campaign has said they will offer hand sanitiser and masks and check attendees’ temperatures. But people buying tickets for the Tulsa rally online also have to click on a waiver confirming they “voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19” and will not hold the president’s campaign responsible for “any illness or injury”.
The Mr Trump himself has pushed back against guidance around masks, calling them a personal choice.
The president was asked by olitical news outlet Axios if he recommended rally attendees wear facial coverings.
He replied: “I recommend people do what they want.”
“We’re going to have a wild evening tomorrow night at Oklahoma,” he added.
Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary, has said attendees will be given masks, but they will not be instructed to wear them. She told reporters on Friday that she will not be wearing one either.
“I wish we could postpone this to a time when the virus isn’t as large a concern as it is today,” Tulsa’s health department director Dr Bruce Dart told.
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