It’s the rally that keeps on giving. In the wake of Donald Trump’s embarrassing rally in Tulsa last Saturday, dozens of Secret Service officers and agents have been ordered to self-quarantine because they may have been exposed to COVID-19.
Two Secret Service employees were among the six advance staffers who tested positive for coronavirus hours before the rally. The day before those positive tests, they attended a planning meeting with dozens of other Secret Service staff. Following the rally, another two campaign staffers tested positive.
On Saturday, after the first six positive cases became public, campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh claimed “No COVID-positive staffers or anyone in immediate contact will be at today’s rally or near attendees and elected officials.” Apparently his definition of “immediate contact” doesn’t include attending a meeting together.
”The U.S. Secret Service remains prepared and staffed to fulfill all of the various duties as required,” a spokeswoman insisted in a statement. Fine, but I think we can all agree it would be ideal if dozens of agents weren’t in self-quarantine?
Tulsa recorded a new record number of new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, at 259, but the city is still waiting to find out what, if any, effect Trump’s indoor rally will have. At least it wasn’t too crowded, unlike his Tuesday event at an Arizona megachurch. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, a Republican, insists the recent record-breaking numbers aren’t because of the Trump rally.
“It’s not from people going to protests or to rallies, it’s from people going to weddings and funerals and family gatherings and bars and other things like that, that are causing this uptick,” he said. Which may be true—so far. It’s unlikely that many people from the rally would have already made it through the incubation period, developed symptoms, and been able to get tested and get their results back. But give it another week, and we’ll know more about the story.