President Donald Trump kicked off his rally rally in the midst of a pandemic on Saturday, saying that “the silent majority is stronger than ever”, but what was supposed to be a show of political force has rather encountered thousands empty seats and the new Coronavirus case on his campaign team.
Ignoring health warnings, Trump experienced with his first rally in 110 days in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of the largest indoor rallies in the world during a coronavirus outbreak that killed more than 120,000 Americans put 40 million on the job and shattered Trump’s re-election.
In the hours before the event, the crowds were noticeably lighter than expected, and scrap campaign officials, plans to Trump first respond to an overflow of outside space. About a third of the seats at its rally interior were empty.
Trump tried to explain to the large crowd by blaming the media for declaring “do not go, do not come, do not do anything” and insisting there were protesters outside who “ does bad things. ” But the small crowd of prerally protesters were largely peaceful, Tulsa and police declared a bit of an arrest on Saturday afternoon.
“We have started our campaign,” Trumpet sounded as he took the stage. “The silent majority is stronger than ever.”
Just hours before the rally, Trump’s campaign revealed that six staff members who helped him set up for the event had tested positive for the coronavirus. Campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said that “the quarantine procedures were immediately implemented”, and that neither affected personnel nor anyone who was in immediate contact with them would allow them to participate in the ‘event.
New infections came shortly before Trump left for Oklahoma, and the president’s rage for aids that the information had been made public, according to two White House and campaign officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly on the subject of private conversations.
On stage, Trump unleashed months of grieving, accusing the media of favoring his Democratic opponent Joe Biden and defending his handling of the pandemic, which he dubbed “Kung-flu,” a term for the virus that many consider themselves to be racist.
Trump also spent more than 10 minutes – with the crowd laughing – trying to explain a pair of bizarre footage from his speech last weekend at West Point, to blame his slippery, leather-soled shoe. video of him walking awkwardly down a ramp as he left the podium. And then he said that he used two hands to drink a cup of water – another image that went viral – because he didn’t want to spill water on his tie.
But Trump also leaned hard on cultural issues, including pushing them to tear down statues and renaming military bases named after Confederate generals in the wake of nationwide protests over racial injustice.
“The nights left crowd is to try to ransack our history, to desecrate our monuments, our beautiful monuments. Tear down our statues, and punish them, cancel them and persecute anyone who doesn’t comply with their requirements for absolute and total control, ”Trump said. “They want to destroy our heritage, so they can impose their new repressive regime on its behalf.”
Large rallies in the United States were shut down in March due to the coronavirus. The rally was scheduled during local events responsible for health as COVID-19 spike cases in many states, while the choice of host city and date – it was originally scheduled for Friday, Juneteenth, and in a town where a 1921 white-on-black attack killed 300 people – guest of anger, in the midst of a national wave of protest against racial injustice.
But Trump and his advisers forged ahead, believing that a return to the rally stadium would revitalize the president, who is furious that he passed behind Biden in the polls, and reassure Republicans worried about the state of the race to the presidential and their ability to stand on the Senate. But smaller than expected, crowds cannot increase GOP from worries.
The president’s campaign tried to point the finger, however, despite much of the peaceful protests before the event.
“Unfortunately, the protesters interfered with supporters, even blocking access to the metal detectors, which prevented people from entering the rally,” Murtaugh said in a statement. “Radical protesters, coupled with relentless assault from the media, tried to scare supporters of the President. We are proud of the thousands who have persisted. ”
In the minutes before Trump arrived at the center of the arena, supporters who signed up for the tickets received a text urging them to show up, declaring, “There is always room!”
Trump was determined to return to his signature campaign events. He dismissed complaints that gathering crowds for an indoor rally risked the spread of the coronavirus as nothing more than politics.
City officials had forecast a crowd of 100,000 or more in downtown Tulsa. Trump campaign, for its part, said it had received more than a million ticket requests. The crowd that gathered is much less than that, although the rally, currently being broadcast on cable, will also target voters in the battlefield of states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.
The campaign delivered masks and hand sanitizer, but participants were not required to use it. Participants also underwent temperature control.
“I don’t think it’s anything worse than the flu,” said Brian Bernard, 54, a retired worker from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who wore an Atout 2020 hat. “I haven’t got a cold or the flu, probably 15, and if I haven’t got a cold or the flu, and yet I don’t think I’m going to get COVID.”
Associated Press writers Jean Mone and Ellen Knickmeyer in Tulsa, Okla., Contributed to this report.