An Oklahoma judge refused to grant an injunction Tuesday against President Donald Trump’s planned rally on Saturday in Tulsa, the first such rally to be held since early March when coronavirus shutdowns and cancellations began.
The lawsuit was filed by two Tulsa attorneys on behalf of businesses in the area. It asked for the rally to be canceled unless organizers guaranteed that social distancing and mask wearing would be enforced for all guests and employees.
Judge Rebecca Nightingale’s refusal to grant the injunction means the rally in the 19,000-seat BOK Center can go on as scheduled. According to the campaign, nearly one million tickets have been requested for the event, and overflow areas are now being sought to accommodate more people.
Oklahoma’s State Health Commissioner Lance Frye issued an advisory for the rally, encouraging attendees to get tested before and after attending. Meanwhile, some Trump supporters were already lining up on Tuesday to be the first into the rally and have been sleeping in tents outside the arena.
Safety precautions being taken
The Trump campaign has said that it would give out masks to attendees and check temperatures on entering the arena. It has not said masks would be mandatory, however.
In responding to criticism for refusing to cancel or postpone the rally, Trump pointed to a media double standard that did not criticize huge protests held just weeks earlier.
The Far Left Fake News Media, which had no Covid problem with the Rioters & Looters destroying Democrat run cities, is trying to Covid Shame us on our big Rallies. Won’t work!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2020
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel also pointed out that the protests had not been criticized. “The hypocrisy is unreal,” she tweeted.
Trump campaign: Biden needs to campaign more
Trump knows his rallies help to energize his base and get out votes, and he also knows his opponent has been hiding behind the coronavirus outbreak to keep constant gaffes and mistakes away from the public.
In a memo to reporters, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said more pressure needs to be put on Biden to get out in front of voters and accused him of using coronavirus shutdowns to avoid being transparent.
“This is obviously a tactic to help him avoid errors and embarrassing, lost trains of thought, while also conveniently preventing the press corps from asking him any questions in person,” Murtaugh said, noting that Biden’s few appearances have been tightly controlled.
“At what point will Biden subject himself to the scrutiny American voters deserve when considering the next President of the United States?” Murtaugh asked.
The answer: never, if Biden can help it, because once he does, his inflated poll numbers are going to come down like a lead balloon.