'Of course not': Fauci retorts that he would not attend the Trump rally in Tulsa amid the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that he's in the 'high-risk category'
- Top US infectious disease expert Dr.
Anthony Faucisaid he would not personally attend President Donald Trump's upcoming re-election rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- "Personally, I would not. Of course not," he told The Daily Beast when asked if he would attend. He added for a rally, "outside is better than inside, no crowd is better than crowd" and "crowd is better than big crowd."
- The indoor rally, which is planned for Saturday, will be held at the BOK Center and is expected to draw tens of thousands of people. Attendees are also required to sign a waiver that absolves the Trump campaign and venue of fault if they contract COVID-19.
- Local health officials and medical professionals are begging Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum to cancel the rally due to its potential to be a coronavirus superspreader event.
- "I don't want to see any more people gasping for breath and dying alone," Dr. Monica Saenz wrote in response. "I promise you if you allow this rally to happen, there will be many lives lost and it will lie on your hands."
Top US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony
"Personally, I would not. Of course not," he told The Daily Beast when asked if he would attend. He added for a rally, "outside is better than inside, no crowd is better than crowd" and "crowd is better than big crowd."
The upcoming rally for President Donald Trump's re-election campaign is planned as an indoor event at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and tens of thousands are expected to attend, with some supporters already lining up outside the arena days before the Saturday event.
The Trump campaign is making attendees sign a waiver regarding the risk of potential exposure to COVID-19, which absolves the campaign and venue of liability. When signing up for the rally on the campaign website, the disclaimer appears, stating that the signer acknowledges that "an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present."
"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 disclaimer reads.
Local health officials, including director of Tulsa's Health Department, Dr. Bruce Dart, have expressed concern about the event's potential to be a coronavirus superspreader event.
"It hurts my heart to think about the aftermath of what's going to happen," Dart said during a meeting with the Tulsa Public Schools board on Monday, according to Public Radio Tulsa.
Amid reopening efforts, The Oklahoman reported the largest daily increase in new COVID-19 cases in the state since the start of the pandemic on Tuesday, heightening concerns of the potential spread that the rally could pose.
Hundreds of medical professionals in Tulsa penned and signed a letter to Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, imploring him to cancel the rally and prevent a surge in coronavirus cases.
"Allowing our city to be one of the first places in the world to host an indoor gathering of this magnitude is not a political matter, it is a public health matter," the letter said. "As our city and state COVID-19 numbers climb at a rate previously unseen, it is unthinkable that this is seen as a logical choice."
Doctors at the front lines described their experiences with the virus, one of whom, Dr. Monica Saenz, an intensive-care physician at St. John Medical Center, saying she personally saw "close to 50 patients die a horrible death from Covid-19."
"I don't want to see any more people gasping for breath and dying alone," Saenz continued in a comment, first reported by Public Radio Tulsa's Chris Polansky. "I promise you if you allow this rally to happen, there will be many lives lost and it will lie on your hands."
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