“Immunity from lawsuits encourages irresponsible and reckless behavior, and undermines public health, as the Trump campaign is now shamefully making clear.”
To register for a spot at President Donald Trump’s first campaign rally since the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered much of the United States in March, prospective attendees must first agree not to sue either the Trump campaign or the venue if they contract coronavirus during the event—a requirement critics say is an attempt by the president’s team to evade responsibility for moving ahead with a hazardous indoor gathering.
“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,” reads a paragraph at the bottom of the registration form for Trump’s planned rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Juneteenth. “By attending the 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, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury.”
“The Trump campaign may have shied away from such a move if it could be held accountable for the resulting illness and potential deaths that are likely to follow.”
—Robert Weissman, Public Citizen
Oklahoma, which began reopening its economy last month, has recorded more than 7,600 coronavirus cases and at least 357 deaths. The president’s Tulsa rally is slated to take place inside the BOK Center, which boasts a seat capacity of nearly 19,200.
As the Associated Press reported, “arena marketing director Meghan Blood said Thursday that she didn’t know yet about any plans for social distancing or other coronavirus precautions for Trump’s rally, which would be one of the larger public gatherings in the U.S. at this stage of the outbreak.”
The Trump campaign said the president will also soon hold rallies in Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona—three states that are currently seeing a surge in new Covid-19 infections.