Trump Campaign Blocked Social Distancing in Tulsa

Staff ordered removal of 'Do Not Sit Here' stickers
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2020 11:40 AM CDT
Trump Staff Ordered Removal of 'Do Not Sit Here' Stickers
People cheer during a Trump campaign rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa on June 20.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

With coronavirus cases on the rise in the Tulsa area, arena management bought 12,000 stickers to place on seats to enforce social distancing before President Trump's rally. But the Trump campaign had the stickers—reading "Do Not Sit Here, Please!" and placed on almost every other seat—removed before the campaign rally began, the Washington Post reports. By the time Trump appeared, general admission attendees had bunched together. That was at the orders of the Trump staff. "They also told us that they didn't want any signs posted saying we should social distance in the venue," an arena executive said, per Billboard. The arena was adhering to a safety program it developed with industry experts and infectious disease specialists, he said, to keep the coronavirus from spreading at events.

A campaign spokesman didn't directly answer a question about the stickers. The June 20 rally was in full compliance with local requirements, Tim Murtaugh said. The Trump campaign later issued a statement saying, "There were signs posted and we are not aware of any campaign staff asking that they be removed." Trump had told the governor of North Carolina that he didn't want the Republican National Convention this summer to follow social distancing because he didn't want empty seats. A half-dozen Trump campaign staff members at the Tulsa rally later tested positive for the coronavirus, including two Secret Service members. Dozens of Secret Service officers and agents who attended the Tulsa rally were ordered to self-quarantine. (Airlines are dropping their effort to block out seats.)

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