Did Donald Trump prioritize favorable optics over public health? It's definitely believable.
According to a recent Washington Post report, the president's campaign not only failed to enforce social distancing at last week's Tulsa rally, it also took steps to thwart them. The outlet reports that hours before Trump took the stage, workers at the BOK Center in Tulsa had labeled thousands of arena seats with stickers that read, "Do Not Sit Here Please!" They were intended to encourage social distancing between attendees and prevent further spread of the coronavirus; however, an anonymous source claims members of the Trump campaign removed the stickers before rally-goers entered.
Video obtained by the Post supports the allegation, as two men are seen inside the rally removing the stickers that were placed on every other seat. The men have not been identified.
Washington Post: The Trump campaign removed thousands of “Do Not Sit Here, Please!” social distancing stickers before his poorly attended Tulsa rally.— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 27, 2020
The removal violated specific instructions from the BOK Center.
Doug Thornton, a senior executive for the firm that owns the BOK Center, confirmed the report to Billboard: "They also told us that they didn't want any signs posted saying we should social distance in the venue."
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told the Post that the campaign had taken precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all rally-goers. But he didn't address the alleged sticker removal.
"The rally was in full compliance with local requirements," he said. "In addition, every rally attendee received a temperature check prior to admission, was given a face mask, and provided ample access to hand sanitizer."
Sometimes it seems that President Trump is not overly concerned with the welfare of ordinary Americans—even the ones who support him—& instead cares more about how things appear on television. This isn’t ideal—but it’s also an opportunity to learn & grow. https://t.co/xRSiWSOit1— Isaac Chotiner (@IChotiner) June 27, 2020
If Trump was actively trying to kill people with coronavirus would we know the difference? https://t.co/La0CalNGs0— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 27, 2020
The Trump actively discouraged social distancing at the Tulsa rally.— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) June 27, 2020
Ironically, there were so few people who turned out that they probably could have observed the 6-foot rule without any problems.https://t.co/XRJ9m7pe0h
The president puts peoples health at risk again https://t.co/HVZIPhtmVz— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) June 27, 2020
Would you really vote for a man who put himself above your life ? How does he sleep at night !Washington Post: Trump campaign had social distancing stickers removed before Tulsa rallyhttps://t.co/bbY6lhfUry— Brenda (@brendap1949) June 28, 2020
Washington Post is reporting that the Tulsa rally organizers had 12,000 “Do Not Sit Here” stickers made and were applying them to chairs to keep social distancing. Trumps people asked them to stop & took them off. Unbelievable. They had room to social distance better too!— Sheri M (@SheriM63019140) June 28, 2020
Is Trump trying to lose on purpose? He’s surely trying to sicken and/or kill off his base.— Maverick (@Isellmpls) June 28, 2020
Of course his campaign would remove social distancing stickers before Tulsa rally, it ruins the image that #COVID19 is over.#FreshTopics#TrumpIsLosinghttps://t.co/0SDdAssckN
At what point can we start blaming Trump directly for killing people? I'd say on the date that we started seeing an uptick in reported cases after weeks of declination. Murderer...— Tyler Knows Nothing #BLM (@tylerregas) June 28, 2020
Washington Post: Trump campaign had social distancing stickers removed before Tulsa rally
The Tulsa Fire Department said less than 6,200 people attended Trump's Tulsa rally, which was significantly less than the 19,000 people the BOK Center can hold. Trump and his team blamed the low turnout on demonstrators, while many pointed to the public's ongoing fears of catching the coronavirus. Prior to the event, all rally-goers had to waive their rights to sue the campaign if they contracted the disease at the rally. In the week since the event went down, at least eight Trump campaign staffers had tested positive for COVID-19.
- Coronavirus Reportedly Detected in Wastewater Samples From March 2019
- Trump Criticizes Demonstrators, Roger Goodell, the Media, and More During Tulsa Rally
- Six Staffers Test Positive for COVID-19 Ahead of Trump's Tulsa Rally
- Pence Lies About Coronavirus Numbers Ahead of Trump's Tulsa Rally
- The Complex SHOP: Designer Clothing and Brands
- Complex Podcast Network
- Sole Collector Mobile App - Your app for the Sneaker World
- Sneaker of the Year: The Best Since ’85 Book - Now available for pre-order!
Sign up for the Complex Newsletter for breaking news, events, and unique stories.