US President Donald Trump alleged Monday the news media are trying to “shame” him over his decision to hold election rallies as the US continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
“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!” Trump said on Twitter.
Trump has held election-style rallies throughout his time in office, unlike other presidents. His last rally was in early March as the coronavirus began its march across the US.
Critics of his decision to resume them have questioned the wisdom of holding mass gatherings of people in enclosed spaces with the coronavirus still a serious concern in many cities and regions.
The coronavirus is primarily spread in person-to-person interactions, and is more transmittable indoors, particularly in crowded environments.
Trump is next slated to hold a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday.
Dr. Bruce Dart, the Tulsa City-County Health Department’s director, said over the weekend he hopes the Trump campaign will delay the rally, citing what he said is a “significant increase in our case trends” that makes holding the rally unsafe for both attendees and the president.
“I think it’s an honor for Tulsa to have a sitting president want to come and visit our community, but not during a pandemic,” Dart said in an interview with the Tulsa World local newspaper. “I’m concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large, indoor event, and I’m also concerned about our ability to ensure the president stays safe as well.”
Tulsa had been registering record-high numbers of COVID-19 cases from June 11-12 before posting a decline Saturday, the last day for which data is available, according to official county records.
The newspaper’s editorial staff said plainly on Sunday: “This is the wrong time and Tulsa is the wrong place for the Trump rally.”
“It will be our health care system that will have to deal with whatever effects follow,” they wrote.
Nearly one million people have requested tickets for the Tulsa rally, according to the president.