All campaign staffers who attended President Donald Trump‘s rally are being asked to quarantine at home as a precaution after eight staffers tested positive for COVID-19 before and after the event.
The Trump campaign revealed the decision to impose a quarantine in order to contain possible further spread of the coronavirus among those who worked the event to their families and others in the community.
The decision comes after the U.S. Secret Service ordered dozens of officers who worked the event to quarantine upon return to their homes.
‘As a precaution staff who made the trip to Tulsa are working remotely, and they will be tested and return working to the office after that,’ Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said, CNN reported.
The White House dismissed concerns about health risks at the rally before it happened. They noted that masks and hand-sanitizer would be available to attendees – but that masks would not be required.
‘Look, I think that we are confident that we can operate safely in Tulsa,’ McEnany said before the event. ‘We’re taking appropriate measures like hand sanitizing and temperature checks and masks being provided at the door,’ she said, bristling at repeated questions on the topic. She said she herself would not be wearing a mask at the rally as a ‘personal choice.’
The Washington Post reported after the rally that the two Secret Service agents who tested positive in advance of the event did not attend the rally but had been at a Friday planning meeting with other agents.
‘No COVID-positive staffers or anyone in immediate contact will be at today’s rally or near attendees and elected officials,’ Murtaugh had claimed Saturday.
Yet, the Secret Service warned all employees who worked in Tulsa to isolate after they returned from the weekend trip.
The health concerns compound other problems that turned the event into a tactical failure.
Only 6,200 turned up for the 19,000-seat venue, as the area was experiencing a rise in coronavirus cases. The campaign had predicted a record turnout, and both Trump and campaign manager Brad Parscale touted 1 million online RSVPs, only to later say as many as 300,000 were fake sign-ups from TikTok users and K-pop fans who decided to troll the campaign.
Trump brushed off critics of the event, saying: ‘We had a nice crowd.’
The campaign has not planned any large-scale rallies in the immediate future. Trump flew to Phoenix for an indoor event at a megachurch Wednesday, and held an event at a Wisconsin factory Thursday.
Meanwhile, Trump trails in key battleground states he won, according to a new New York Times / Sienna poll.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Geoff Earle