Politics

Trump Tulsa rally advance crew members check optimistic for corona virus

United States President Donald Trump speaks to the press before leaving the White House in Washington, DC for a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 20, 2020.

Eric Baradat | AFP | Getty Images

Six members of President Donald Trump's advance team, preparing for his Tulsa rally, which starts on Saturday evening, tested positive for coronavirus, according to his re-election campaign.

"According to the security protocols, campaign employees are tested on COVID-19 before the events. Six members of the advance team have been tested positive from hundreds of tests and quarantine procedures have been implemented immediately," said Tim Murtaugh, communications director of the campaign.

"At today's rally or in the vicinity of participants and elected officials, no COVID-positive employees or people will be in direct contact. As previously announced, all participants in the rally will be subjected to a temperature test before the security check. At this point, they will receive wristbands, Face masks and hand sanitizers. "

A source familiar with the matter reports to NBC News that employees have been around for about a week, not wearing masks, and going to restaurants. According to the source, the Trump campaign is now conducting contact tracking.

Supporters of US President Donald Trump gather to take part in his campaign rally later on June 20, 2020 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Win McNamee | Getty Images

Of the six Trump Advance Team members who tested positive for coronavirus prior to the Tulsa rally, at least two are U.S. intelligence agents, a police officer told NBC News.

CNBC asked USSS for a comment but did not get an immediate response.

The news follows reports that leading members of the Coronavirus Task Force, including White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has warned White House officials of the health risks associated with large-scale indoor rallies.

The Trump campaign opted to continue the event, claiming that participants "take a personal risk" and "is part of life."

Trump's rally in Tulsa is expected to gather up to 20,000 people at the Bank of Oklahoma's convention center.

The Trump campaign said it would conduct temperature tests for participants and provide them with masks and hand sanitizers upon entry, but did not state whether social distance measures would be implemented and that wearing masks would be optional.

More than 2.2 million people have tested positive for coronavirus in the United States, and at least 119,475 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 10,000 people have tested positive in Oklahoma and at least 368 people have died.

The Tulsa Health Department declined to comment specifically on the rally, but said in a statement to CNBC that "The Tulsa Health Department is concerned about the safety of a large crowd of people in confined spaces where social distance is difficult to maintain is. "

Concerns have also been raised about the timing and location of the event. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Tulsa Race Massacre took place in 1921, in which white mobs killed black residents and destroyed black-owned businesses. The rally was originally scheduled for June 19, a day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, but has been postponed.

On Friday, Trump threatened those who could protest the event.

Update: This story has been updated to reflect new information that two of the six positively tested people may be members of the Secret Service.

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