The mayor of Tulsa has declared a civil emergency and curfew in advance of President Trump's upcoming campaign rally. The measures come amid warnings from law enforcement that violent individuals plan to converge on the city to cause unrest.
A curfew is in effect in the blocks surrounding the BOK Center from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for Friday through Sunday. Police say Trump supporters camped outside waiting to get in will be moved away.
There is also growing concern that the massive event could turn into a COVID-19 super-spreader. Oklahoma reported a record number of cases Thursday at 450, up from 259 Wednesday.
The indoor arena hosting the rally holds 19,000 people, but the Trump campaign says one million supporters have registered. Operators of the Tulsa arena are now asking the president for a written plan for how they intend to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"We take safety seriously, which is why we’re doing temperature checks for everyone attending, and providing masks and hand sanitizer," the Trump campaign said.
The campaign is also defending its planned rally, saying, "We don’t recall the media shaming demonstrators about social distancing — in fact the media were cheering them on.”
But the protests calling for racial justice were outside, which is different from a packed indoor arena, where it is harder to maintain distance from people around you, according to infectious disease specialist Dr. Peter Chin Hong.