Stitt Defends Trump Rally amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases

Jun 19, 2020

As new COVID-19 infections skyrocket in Oklahoma, Gov. Kevin Stitt defended Saturday's Trump campaign rally in Tulsa.

Appearing on Fox News on Friday, Stitt was asked how he responds to public health officials who have said the rally should be postponed.

"My response to those folks, the naysayers, is ‘When is the right time?’ The coronavirus is in the United States, it’s in Oklahoma, we have to take precautions, but we have the freedoms to stay at home. You have the freedoms to come to this rally," Stitt said.

Health officials like Tulsa Health Department Director Doctor Bruce Dart worry the rally will lead to another surge in infections because people can’t physically distance inside the BOK Center. State Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye said this week those attending the rally are unlikely to practice other measures, like wearing masks.

Stitt said when it comes to wearing a mask at the rally, he will be following President Trump’s lead and does not feel they should be mandated.

"We just believe in freedoms in Oklahoma. If you want to wear a mask, we want you to do it. If you feel safer at home, we don’t want you to come to that rally, but if you do feel OK, we want you to come to the rally and have a good time. We’re going to be very safe," Stitt said.

Oklahoma set two one-day records for new COVID-19 cases this week, and its top three days were in the span of three days.

Tulsa County set three straight single-day records and leads the state in cases.