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Tulsa Public Health Official Suggests Spike In COVID Cases Was Due To Trump’s Rally

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

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Andrew Trunsky Contributor
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The director of Tulsa’s public health department suggested Wednesday that the city’s surge in coronavirus cases was likely due to President Donald Trump’s indoor rally on June 20 and recent protests.

The Oklahoma county reported nearly 500 new cases early this week, with 206 on Tuesday and 261 on Monday, which was the county’s record high, The New York Times reported.

“The past two days we’ve had almost 500 cases, and we know we had several large events a little over two weeks ago, which is about right,” Dr. Bruce Dart, Tulsa’s director of public health, said at a news conference Wednesday.

The large gatherings that had taken place throughout the city had “more than likely contributed to that,” Dart said. Trump held his first rally since the pandemic began in Tulsa June 20. In addition to Trump’s rally, large protests have also raised concerns about the coronavirus’ spread, The Washington Post reported.

In response to a request for comment, Tulsa health department spokeswoman Leanne Stephens declined to elaborate on whether Tulsa’s contact tracing efforts and referred the Daily Caller News Foundation to Wednesday’s press conference.

Stephens told The New York Times that the department “will not publicly identify any individual or facility at risk of exposure, or where transmission occurred.” (RELATED: Trump’s Rally Hit With Low Turnout, President And VP Cancel Pre-Rally Address)

Dart urged Trump in June to cancel his rally at the Bank of Oklahoma Center arena, raising concerns over the increased exposure for those in attendance, the Associated Press reported. Though the arena was far from full, most in attendance were not wearing masks, according to The New York Times.

Other states in the South and West have also experienced outbreaks of the virus, including Arizona, Texas and Florida.

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