Trump restarts election rallies ignoring virus outbreak

The US President Donald Trump on Saturday launched his comeback rally by defining the upcoming election as a stark choice between national heritage and left-wing radicalism. But his intended show of political force featured thousands of empty seats at Tusla arena and new coronavirus cases on his own campaign staff, news wires reported.

Trump ignored health warnings to hold the rally during a coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 120,000 Americans and put 40 million out of work. In the hours before the rally, crowds were significantly lighter than expected, and campaign officials scrapped plans for Trump to address an overflow space outdoors. Trump tried to explain away the crowd size by blaming the media for scaring people and by insisting there were protesters outside who were “doing bad things.” But the small crowds of pre-rally demonstrators were largely peaceful, and Tulsa police reported just one arrest on Saturday afternoon.

Before the rally, Trump’s campaign revealed that six staff members who were helping set up for the event had tested positive for the coronavirus. The president raged to aides that the staffers’ positive cases had been made public. During the rally Trump said he called on his "people" to slow down coronavirus testing to limit the rising number of recorded cases of the virus. He called testing a "double-edged sword."

Surrounded by thousands of supporters, many of them not wearing masks, Trump outlined his pitch for reelection in November, including stricter immigration controls, tougher policing and a flourishing economy. "If the Democrats gain power then the rioters will be in charge and no one will be safe," Trump said, referring to the national unrest that followed the killing of George Floyd, a black man, by a white police officer.

"Joe biden is not the leader of his party, Joe Biden is a helpless puppet of the radical left," he added, referring to the presumptive Democratic nominee.


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