WASHINGTON – Want tickets to President Donald Trump’s campaign rally next week in Oklahoma? Then you’ve got to agree you won't sue him if you contract coronavirus.
The sign-up page for free tickets on the Trump campaign website comes with a liability waiver that says the campaign or other parties associated with the event next Friday at the BOK Center in Tulsa cannot be held liable for exposure to coronavirus.
“By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present,” the waiver says.
“By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury.”
The event, which the Trump campaign officially announced Thursday, will be Trump’s first campaign rally since nationwide lockdowns took effect in March to slow the spread of COVID-19 and comes as the disease continues to rage across the country.
The disease already has infected 2 million Americans and killed nearly 114,000. Public health officials have warned that large gatherings could cause it to spread further.
The sign-up page for tickets to the Tulsa rally did not say what measures would be taken to assure the safety of crowds or whether masks or social distancing would be required. But Trump said Wednesday he picked Tulsa in part because the state has done a good job of stopping the spread of coronavirus.
"They've done a great job with COVID, as you know, in the state of Oklahoma,” he said.
Coronavirus cases in Oklahoma dropped in May but have spiked over the past couple of weeks. The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 146 new COVID-19 cases across the state Thursday, bringing the total number of the state’s positive cases to 7,626.
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Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said the city is still working out details of the rally.
"Tulsans have managed one of the first successful re-openings in the nation, so we can only guess that may be the reason President Trump selected Tulsa as a rally site,” Bynum said in a statement to CBS News. “The City of Tulsa continues to follow the State of Oklahoma's OURS plan on COVID-19 response as it relates to events, which encourages the organizer to have enhanced hygiene considerations for attendees."
Trump also is planning other rallies in Texas, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina.
Critics slammed Trump’s decision to resume political rallies while coronavirus continues to spread.
"I think it’s insane to hold a political rally during a pandemic,” Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine at George Washington University, wrote on Twitter. “It’s also equally crazy to attend such an event, particularly when the candidate requires you to sign a disclaimer holding him harmless if you get COVID-19. He wants you there but doesn’t care so much what happens."
Anthony Scaramucci, a former communications director for Trump, called the liability waiver "selfish" and "irresponsible."
"Two of the great hallmarks of his presidency: Selfish and irresponsible," he said. "Selfish, he thinks this helps him get re-elected – irresponsible because it puts his supporters in harm’s way."
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