Amid reports of virus numbers rising in different parts of the country, sides are clashing over large group gatherings.
“For months, public health experts have urged Americans to take every precaution to stop the spread of Covid-19—stay at home, steer clear of friends and extended family, and absolutely avoid large gatherings. Now some of those experts are broadcasting a new message: It’s time to get out of the house and join the mass protests against racism.”Dan Diamond, Politico
Trump’s rally in Tulsa is estimated to see 20,000 people in attendance, and many protests happening around the country have seen numbers in the tens of thousands as well. Both sides are pointing fingers at each other, and the differing advice has left many confounded.
Many on the Right note the two-faced advice given by the Left which allows and even encourages protesters but warns of the COVID dangers of Trump rallies and other gatherings. Trump’s campaign manager defended their decision to host the upcoming rally in Tulsa, tweeting that all attendees will be required to have a temperature check and wear a face mask. Laura Trump, senior adviser for Trump 2020 Campaign, also pointed out the difference of how experts and the media have talked about Trump’s rally compared to the “way that they discussed the protests where we had thousands of people all across this country.” Brian Blase, Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare Policy, said, “Their rules appear ideologically driven as people can only gather for purposes deemed important by the elite central planners.”
Tulsa health department officials are “pleading with the Trump campaign to cancel the event” he has scheduled in Tulsa, saying it is “the perfect storm of potential over-the-top disease transmission.” Responding to seeming double standards, Oklahoma Democratic Chair Alicia Andrews pointed out the difference between a political rally and protest, stating, “We’re fighting for our life here. We’re fighting for our freedom.” The Left is critical of the fact that Trump’s rally will be held indoors. Democratic strategist David Heller said his decision is “utterly selfish,” and Ashish K. Jha, Harvard Global Health Institute Director, called attending Trump’s rally “an extraordinarily dangerous move for the people participating.”
We should always evaluate the risks and benefits of efforts to control the virus. In this moment the public health risks of not protesting to demand an end to systemic racism greatly exceed the harms of the virus. https://t.co/s9DagyjQ1J— Jennifer Nuzzo, DrPH (@JenniferNuzzo) June 2, 2020