Tulsa attorneys file lawsuit to enforce safety measures at Trump rally

Two Tulsa, Okla., attorneys filed a lawsuit Tuesday to try to enforce coronavirus safety measures at President Trump's rally at the BOK Center.

Trump is set to hold a rally at the indoor sports venue Saturday, the first he has planned since March, around the time when the U.S. was hit hard by the pandemic. 

Attorneys Clark Brewster and Paul DeMuro said they filed the lawsuit to compel the management company ASM Global to enforce social distancing measures and mandate face masks for all of those at the rally, including for those who are working the event.

ADVERTISEMENT

Both Brewster and DeMuro said that an event of this size would cause a rapid spread virus in the city, according to a local ABC affiliate.

Vice President Pence emphasized Tuesday that the Trump campaign plans to perform temperature checks for attendees at the venue, capable of supporting 19,000 spectators. The campaign said it had received over 1 million requests for tickets to the event. 

However, the lawyers claim that these measures are insufficient and the spread at a venue this size is inevitable. 

"This is not a matter of 'if this might happen,' it is a matter of certainty. This [rally] is going to spread this virus without a question if you rely on the world's leading experts on this issue, that's been advising the Republic administration at the White House," Brewster said Tuesday at a press briefing outside the venue.

DeMuro underscored that the intention behind the suit was about ensuring people's safety. 

"It's not about shutting down the rally," DeMuro said, adding that the attorneys would file a lawsuit if any other organization or group attempted to hold an event with large groups of people.

ADVERTISEMENT

"The CDC has said unequivocally that this is the highest risk event for transmission of the virus; this is a super-spreader event in downtown Tulsa," DeMuro added. "Those of us who work and live within blocks and miles of this building are scared."

Brewster also said he is asking the court to set a hearing for an injunction before the rally on Saturday.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum (R) expressed concerns about the event on Tuesday, but said he would not attempt to stop the rally from happening.

A campaign official for the president told The Hill that Trump's rally would still be held at the BOK Center, "but the campaign is also considering other areas adjacent to the arena to allow the President to address even more people."

On June 1, Tulsa entered Phase 3 of reopening the economy, allowing events with no size limit to begin planning after the designated date.