Doctors spelled out the potential health risks associated with President Donald Trump’s upcoming rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, amid the coronavirus pandemic during interviews on cable news Friday.
Next week’s indoor rally at the 19,000-capacity BOK Center could become a super-spreader event, two medical professionals warned, noting how the Trump campaign has applied a legal disclaimer to its website telling people wanting tickets that they can’t sue if they contract the contagion there.
Oklahoma has experienced an uptick in confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, in recent days.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes suggested to Dr. Kavita Patel, a primary care physician, that “a packed indoor facility with people yelling and screaming and cheering next to each other without masks” was “a worst-case scenario for a super-spreading event” and asked if it was “a fair read of the science.”
“Not only is that a fair read but we have evidence that that is exactly how we are getting these ‘super spreader’ events, whether it’s in a choir, in a church, at a party,” responded Patel. “We know that this is just a set up for disaster.”
“Just have the rallies outside,” said Hayes, who acknowledged not knowing what measures the Trump campaign was planning to take to stop the possible spread of the virus at the rally. Check out the interview above.
Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale has claimed 300,000 tickets have been registered for the event, which the president announced Friday would be moved from next Friday to Saturday so it would not fall on Juneteenth.
Cardiologist Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who treated former Vice President Dick Cheney, meanwhile, suggested calling the Trump campaign’s bluff on its waiver.
“I think if the risk is low and if it’s safe to gather in large numbers at a political rally I would just challenge the president to drop that disclaimer, drop that proviso to the attendees,” he told CNN’s Erin Burnett.
“Why is the president asking attendees to assume a risk?” he added. “Look, the CDC today issued guidance on large gatherings, and they warned about it. Tulsa is a place which actually today had a record number of cases. So, the president is holding a rally in a hot zone. That’s how you propagate the pandemic.”
Check out the interview here: