The debate over what it takes to be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic continues, with many researchers worried that the social distancing guidelines now in place are insufficient in light of evidence the disease can be spread by smaller aerosol particles. But as experts debate the relative safety of various locations and activities, one things has remained clear: The absolute worst situation is a large number of people, for a sustained period of time, in an indoor location.
That’s why Donald Trump’s announcement that he was holding an indoor rally in Tulsa back on June 21 was so irresponsible. And it’s why the willingness of some area Republicans to go along with, or even encourage, Trump’s action was such a betrayal of the local citizens. About the only thing that can be said on a positive note is that the rally was sparsely attended, with the arena at less than a third of capacity and the outside areas for “overflow” completely empty. That’s particularly good now that, as many predicted, Trump’s rally has turned out to be a spreading event that has generated hundreds of cases in the Tulsa area.
Since the Trump rally, Oklahoma has experienced a doubling of new cases. That includes hitting the peak number of new cases in the state just two days ago. But while cases are up across the state, there’s a particular surge in Tulsa, and as CNN reports, health officials there have tied this surge directly to Trump’s visit.
Despite a growth of cases in many parts of the country, the city of Tulsa has actually been in a slow decline. That ended abruptly a week after Trump’s traveling circus came to town, with 500 new cases and counting. Rather than seeing a decline, Tulsa is now a hot spot for the region.
With an incubation period of two to 14 days, Tulsa is only now getting a count of those infected in the first wave of post-rally disease. It’s still to be determined whether or not the rally will be a so-called super spreader event, as has been seen with some church services that have been directly connected to hundreds, or even thousands, of new cases.
The best thing about the Trump rally was the low attendance. The worst thing was … everything else. Not only did Trump decide to hold the rally at an indoor location against all medical advice, he also made it clear that he regarded wearing a mask as an insult. And even when the area had plenty of seats, Trump’s team crowded everyone together.
Expect to hear the results from Trump’s visit to Phoenix in about seven days. And Rushmore a week after that.
Powered by WPeMatico