An Oklahoma judge has denied a request that would have forced President Trump to cancel a re-election campaign planned for Tulsa on Saturday.
Two residents, who claim they are immunocompromised, joined with two Tulsa organizations — The Greenwood Cultural Centre and the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation — to file suit against ASM Global, the management company of the BOK Center, where rally is scheduled to be held.
They demanded that Trump be barred from holding the rally until event organizers outlined how social distancing measures would be employed to help stem the spread of coronavirus and alleged that the rally would lead to a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases.
“If ASM Global moves forward with the event without adequate review, planning, training, protective equipment, and safeguards, cases of COVID-19 — and the unavoidable attendant deaths — will rise,” the complaint said.
The judge denied the complainants request that rally goers wear mandatory face masks and practice other social distancing requirements.
Meghan Blood, a spokeswoman for the BOK Center, told Politico that the venue would adhere to the state’s regulations for events. Oklahoma currently lets business owners set their own social distancing rules.
“Government officials have advised that the campaign rally as planned is consistent with the guidance for the OURS [Open Up & Recover Safely] plan for entertainment venues, however, in the event that the governing authorities impose new restrictions, we will notify the event organizers immediately,” Blood said in a statement to Politico.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale wrote on Twitter that rally attendees will undergo temperature checks and receive free face masks and hand sanitizer before entering the venue.
Democrats have decried the coming Trump rally — as well as others set for Florida, Texas, Arizona and North Carolina — while back massive protests by Black Lives Matter.
A week ago Monday, Rep. Val Demings, a Florida Democrat rising up in the Joe Biden veepstakes, attended a massive “Healing and Hope” rally, where thousands of maskless protesters were jammed in elbow to elbow. She told her Twitter followers she was there “to speak with our community as America grieves.”
But by Thursday, Demings changed her tune. “The president’s plan to hold mass rallies in Florida and elsewhere as we experience a resurgence in COVID cases is irresponsible and selfish,” Demings said.
She wasn’t alone in flip-flopping. Other top Democrats cheered on “Black Lives Matter” crowds across the United States, with many attending rallies in honor of George Floyd, a black man who died while in the custody of Minneapolis police. But they were incensed that President Trump was planning campaign rallies.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, a socialist from Vermont, wrote a week ago Monday on Twitter: “Congratulations to all who are out on the streets today peacefully protesting. Together, we will end police brutality. Together, we will defeat Trump. Together, we will fight for a government based on justice and compassion, not greed and lies.”
But by Thursday, like Demings, Sanders was blasting Trump and the Republicans’ decision to hold its nominating convention in Florida — in late August.
“Trump wants 15,000 delegates cheering him at his GOP convention in Florida,” Sanders said. “No social distancing. His rejection of medical advice endangers not only those there but those they come in contact with. Trump’s a threat to the health and well-being of the country. He must be defeated.”
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