People who want to attend President Trump's rally in Oklahoma next week must agree not to sue the president's campaign if they become infected with COVID-19 at the event.
The rally is Trump's first in months because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the campaign is requiring a new disease waiver. When registering for tickets through Trump's website, would-be attendees are informed that by doing so, they are "acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present" and must "voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold" the campaign liable if infected.
The rally will be held at the BOK Center in Tulsa, where in 1921 a white mob attacked Black residents' businesses along what was known as Black Wall Street in the worst incident of racial violence in US history. Trump's event is also scheduled for June 19, or Juneteenth: the holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the US.
It is Trump's first such event in over three months and comes at a time of nationwide unrest over police brutality against Black people. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases in Oklahoma continue to be on the rise, with an average of 96 new cases a day over the last week.
"There is no better place than America's Heartland to restart our Make America Great Again Rallies," Trump campaign official Michael Glassner said in a statement on Thursday. "There's no doubt that the Great American Comeback is here, and we are looking forward to the tremendous crowds and enthusiasm behind President Trump."
It's unclear how many attendees will be permitted into Trump's rally next week or whether any social distancing measures will be enforced in the arena, which has a capacity of about 19,000 people. But over the last several months, Trump has said he wants to see crowds.
"Hopefully in the not-too-distant future, we’ll have some massive rallies and people will be sitting next to each other," Trump said during an April 29 roundtable on reopening the economy. "I can’t imagine a rally where you have every fourth seat full. Every — every six seats are empty for every one that you have full. That wouldn’t look too good.”
While many other large gatherings, such as music festivals Coachella and Stagecoach, have been canceled altogether as the pandemic drags on, other businesses that typically draw large crowds are beginning to reopen with modifications.
On Wednesday, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure announced the California parks would reopen next month, but that guests would need to make a reservation and that capacity would be reduced to allow for social distancing. The company has said previously that when Disney World in Florida reopens in mid-July guests will have to wear face coverings and get their temperature checked before entering the park.
Meanwhile, professional sports leagues have been planning to hold events with no fans in attendance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.