Trump Staff Must ‘STOP TESTING’ Amid Tulsa’s COVID-19 Outbreak: Book – Community News
Covid-19

Trump Staff Must ‘STOP TESTING’ Amid Tulsa’s COVID-19 Outbreak: Book

  • The Trump campaign told staff to stop testing for COVID-19 during an outbreak at the Tulsa rally in June 2020.
  • ABC’s Jonathan Karl reveals new details about the ill-fated rally in his forthcoming book ‘Betrayal’.
  • The campaign also told staffers who tested positive to drive back to DC rather than go into quarantine.

The Trump campaign leadership instructed staffers to “STOP TESTING” as a COVID-19 outbreak tore through staff working on former President Donald Trump’s June 2020 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to a soon to be published book.

In his new book, “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show,” ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl reveals new details about Trump’s disastrous Tulsa rally, which drew a meager turnout from supporters while simultaneously sparking a COVID-19 outbreak within Trumpworld. An excerpt from the forthcoming book was published Thursday in Vanity Fair.

Trump hoped a return to the rally circuit would help reverse his declining polls and approval ratings, which had taken a nosedive during the pandemic and economic downturn. He eschewed more COVID-safe outdoor and drive-in options in favor of the BOK Center in Tulsa, a state with a Trump-friendly GOP governor and relatively lax COVID-19 restrictions.

But not long after arriving in Tulsa, a growing number of staffers working on the event, including at least six Trump campaign staff and two Secret Service agents, tested positive for the virus.

As news of the COVID-19 outbreak began to leak into the news media, the Trump campaign communicated top to bottom to stop testing, even though eight positive cases had been confirmed and reported publicly on the day of the rally, it wrote. Karl.

Trump repeatedly and incorrectly attributed the high numbers of COVID-19 cases in the US to more testing. This continued at the Tulsa rally, where he called testing “a double-edged sword” and told supporters he ordered health officials to “stop testing” earlier that year.

“Here’s the bad part: If you test to that extent, you’ll find more people, you’ll find more cases! So I said to my people, slow down the testing, please! Test them, and test them!” Trump told the crowd.

Following the event, Trump staffers who tested positive were told not to self-quarantine for 10 days, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the time. Instead, they were ordered to drive back to Washington, DC, Karl reported.

“There was a car with three staffers who had tested positive that drove all the way from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Washington, DC,” a senior Trump adviser told Karl. “We called it a COVID mobile.”

A staffer, whom Karl does not identify in the book, became seriously ill and was hospitalized after contracting the virus during the rally.

“It was really scary,” a senior Trump official told Karl. “He was actually afraid he was going to die.”

And 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain also contracted the virus, dying from COVID-19 complications on July 30, about a month after the rally. Cain’s death was a devastating outcome Trump associates blamed themselves for, with someone telling ABC’s Will Steakin, “We killed Herman Cain.”

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