US President Donald Trump yesterday, at the first pre-election rally since March, criticized anti-racist protests in the US and defended his management of the coronavirus situation, trying to revive the campaign for his re-election.
Trump, who announced that the first rally in a few months would be epic, complained that the media discouraged citizens from coming, called protesters gathered outside for misconduct, but did not explicitly acknowledge the fact that many of the 19,000 seats at the BUL Center in Tulsa in Oklahoma was empty, writes Reuters.
The Republican president’s first pre-election rally since the end of his COVID 19 pandemic campaign in early March sparked sharp controversy as many wondered the health consequences of such a large gathering of people arriving from all parts of the United States, organized indoors. hall in the midst of a pandemic.
Oklahoma, a conservative federal state in the south that has so far been relatively spared, is now recording a sharp rise in sickness, and among other things, Trump’s headquarters announced a few hours before the rally that six rally organizers were positive on COVID-19.
Only some had masks
Although it was announced that all participants would receive hand disinfection gels and masks, only a few gathered wore them inside the arena.
Trump tried to use the rally to restore momentum to his campaign, after being heavily criticized for his responses to the coronavirus and the death of George Floyd, an African-American who died in Minneapolis during a brutal police arrest, Reuters reports.
Trump has rejected criticism for his decision to hold his first rally in months in Tulsa, the site of the bloodiest outbreak of racist violence against black Americans some hundred years ago.
On the other hand, he also sharply criticized some of the protests.
“The unfortunate leftist mob is trying to destroy our history, to desecrate our monuments. They are tearing down our statues and punishing and persecuting anyone who does not meet their demands for absolute and complete control,” Trump said.
The current US president is behind the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in polls, who, among other things, attacked Trump for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Asked to reduce the number of tests
Trump, meanwhile, said in Tulsa that more testing on Covid-19 also leads to the identification of more cases.
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“When you conduct testing to that extent (…) you will find more cases. So I told my people: Slow down the testing, please,” Trump said, and one White House official said it was obvious that Trump was joking.
Unusually, Trump suggested that his speech in the partially empty arena was not at the highest level. “Tonight, I’m average for now,” Trump said.
Trump also said that if he is not re-elected president, all Americans will suffer “the chaos that is now seen in cities where the Democratic Party is in power.”
“When you see these lunatics all over the street, it’s damn nice to have a gun.”
“When you see these lunatics all over the street, it’s damn nice to have guns,” Trump said, vowing to protect citizens ’right to bear arms. “Our people aren’t even remotely violent, but if they ever are, it would be a terrible, terrible day for the other side,” Trump said.
Trump campaign officials said before the rally that demand had greatly exceeded the capacity of the arena seat, but eventually Trump and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence canceled an address to supporters outside the arena.
Campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said protesters had “mixed with supporters” in an effort to enter the rally. On the other hand, Reuters writes that it was not noticed that any of Trump’s supporters were prevented from entering the rally, and that only a few dozen supporters gathered in the outdoor space intended for thousands.
There was also a brawl between anti-racist Black Lives Matter protesters and Trump supporters, while a small group of armed men could be seen outside the event, telling reporters they were there in case the “antifa” protesters proved violent.
Police reported the arrest of a woman wearing a T-shirt with the words “I can’t breathe”, with the explanation that she refused to leave the private property.
Trump on Friday threatened indefinite action against any “protesters, anarchists, agitators, robbers” traveling to Oklahoma, warning that this did not apply to peaceful protesters, prompting critics to accuse him of trying to provoke conflict.