President Donald Trump has plans to hold a massive campaign rally in Oklahoma this weekend — and while an attempt was made to stop it from going forward, those efforts seem to have fallen flat.
In a win for Team Trump, The Washington Times reported Tuesday that Tulsa County Judge Rebecca Nightingale shot down a lawsuit seeking to cancel the rally, or at least subject it to restrictions, in light of concerns over COVID-19.
“A super-spreader event”
The Times said the suit was “brought by two local black-history organizations — The Greenwood Cultural Centre and the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation.” The groups reportedly contended that by bringing large numbers of people together, the rally could cause a massive uptick in coronavirus cases.
“Such a collection of events would result in a super-spreader event that spreads the virus across northeastern Oklahoma and other places attendees go,” the petitioners argued, according to the Times.
Absent a full ban, the suit sought to compel the company that manages the venue, ASM Global, to require staff and those in attendance to wear face masks and practice social distancing measures, the Times noted. The venue holds up to 20,000, according to Fox News.
Playgrounds and protests
All 50 states, including Oklahoma, have begun to reopen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 100,000 Americans and infected more than 2 million, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
But though concerns over the disease continue to be used to justify ongoing restrictions in some localities, those rules are often being enforced selectively.
In New York City, for instance, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered that the gates on a playground in a predominantly Jewish Brooklyn neighborhood be welded shut, the New York Post reported. When local members of the community reacted by using a set of bolt cutters to re-open the gates, de Blasio condemned the move at a press conference.
“No, we’re not going to allow people to take the law into their own hands,” he said, according to CBS New York. “It just doesn’t work. So people are not allowed to open up a playground that is not yet available to the public.”
However, the mayor hasn’t prevented thousands of people from gathering to protest the recent death of 46-year-old George Floyd in police custody — and these demonstrations have frequently turned violent.
“How is it safe for thousands of people to be on beach? How is it safe for thousands of people to come out to protest? But it’s not safe for our kids to play safely in the park?” city Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, a Democrat, told CBS.
The question remains.