Two more Trump campaign staffers test positive for COVID-19

Two additional members of President Trump’s reelection campaign have tested positive for the novel coronavirus after attending Saturday’s rally in Tulsa, Okla.

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said the staffers, both part of the advance team in Tulsa, were wearing masks during the entirety of the rally.

“Upon the positive tests, the campaign immediately activated established quarantine and contact tracing protocols,” Murtaugh said in an emailed statement.

Six members of the campaign’s advance team that traveled to Tulsa had tested positive for COVID-19 prior to Saturday’s rally. They were not allowed to attend the rally later that evening. The new cases bring the total number of campaign staff who have tested positive after traveling to Tulsa to at least eight.

Trump’s decision to stage the rally in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic was a source of controversy, prompting the director of the Tulsa Health Department to warn against holding the massive event.

The city has experienced a spike in coronavirus infections in recent weeks, including a record daily high in cases days before the event, and health experts expressed concerns that holding such a large event could result in a further increase in cases.

The Trump campaign administered temperature checks and distributed hand sanitizer and masks to attendees, though many of those inside Tulsa’s BOK Center were seen not wearing masks during the event. Large crowds of supporters were also photographed waiting outside the venue without wearing masks and not practicing social distancing.

The event marked Trump’s first rally in over three months. The campaign was forced to pause in-person events due to the pandemic, but Trump has been eager to resume official and campaign travel as states loosen restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus.

The campaign initially expected the rally to attract tens of thousands of people, but the final turnout was much lower, with thousands of seats empty in the arena. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Monday that Trump was “very pleased” with the rally, disputing reports to the contrary that the president was angry about the smaller-than-expected crowd. 

Tags campaign Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Oklahoma rally staff Tulsa

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