Trump supporters can't sue him if they contract Covid-19 at Tulsa MAGA rally, asked to sign disclaimer

The president's campaign has come up with the provision on the online registration form ahead of the June 19 event

                            Trump supporters can't sue him if they contract Covid-19 at Tulsa MAGA rally, asked to sign disclaimer
(Getty Images)

If the Donald Trump campaign’s decision to hold a rally in Tulsa on June 19 has already courted controversy, it has been fueled more by the organizers who want the president’s supporters planning to attend the event to agree not to sue him and other entities if they contracted Covid-19. More than two million people have been affected by the disease in the US while more than 113,000 have died. The country is trying to reopen after remaining shut for months and President Trump, who will face re-election in November, is on the track to resume his campaign rallies.

The form, where the supporters who want to attend the 'Make America Great Again! Rally' have to register themselves online, says: "By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present." It goes on to say that by attending the June 19 rally, "you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President ... liable for any illness or injury." Besides, the attendees will also not be able to sue the Bank of Oklahoma Center -- the rally venue which can hold around 19,000 people; ASM Global, the venue’s management company and "any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers," according to the disclaimer.

Officials of the Trump campaign are unlikely to set up any social distancing measures for the rally attendees or require them to wear masks, people familiar with the decision-making process informed, adding it would be unnecessary since the state is so far along in its post-pandemic reopening, the New York Times reported. Trump’s campaign officially announced the Tulsa rally in Oklahoma on Thursday, June 11, after the president himself discussed the event at the White House on Wednesday, June 10. The announcement made waves as the controversial venue was picked when the US is witnessing violent protests across the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd in police brutality in Minneapolis on May 25. 

Martial law in Tulsa, Oklahoma after the race riots in June 1921. Injured and wounded prisoners are being taken to hospital by National guardsmen (Getty Images)

Tulsa was home to brutal racial violence in the history of the US. June 19 is also a landmark date as it, called ‘Juneteenth’ is considered to be the Independence Day for black Americans. The last slaves were informed of their freedom through the Emancipation Proclamation. Ninety-nine years ago -- on May 31 and June 1 -- white residents attacked and killed black residents in Tulsa’s Greenwood district that was called at the time as ‘Black Wall Street’. Stores and homes were looted and burnt down and according to some, the assailants even used planes to drop firebombs. The horrific piece of history was depicted recently on the HBO show called ‘Watchmen’. Around 300 died while more than 800 were injured in that massacre. Plan is still on to dig up suspected mass graves that might have been used to dispose bodies of African-Americans. 

'Trump throwing white supremacists welcome home party'

While the rally marks Trump’s official return to the campaign trail, his Tulsa rally has come under the scanner. Kamala Harris, a colored senator from California and a vice-presidential contender, reacted to the rally plans and was quoted by the Associated Press as saying: “This isn't just a wink to white supremacists - he's throwing them a welcome home party.” Sherry Gamble Smith, the president of the Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce which is named after the ill-fated neighborhood, said: “Tulsa is outraged”.  “To choose the date, to come to Tulsa, is totally disrespectful and a slap in the face to ever happen,” Gamble Smith told AP. She suggested the Trump campaign should at least change the date to Saturday, June 20. 

Trump on Thursday, June 11, went to Dallas for an event where he spoke on the burning issue of police reform, race relations and coronavirus. But even as the president slammed China for the pandemic’s outbreak, not many in the audience were seen maintaining either social distancing or wearing masks as precautions. The Trump campaign has not announced any social-distancing plans to be followed in Tulsa though spokesman Tim Murtaugh said: “There will be health precautions.”

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