CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta went off on the Trump campaign’s plans to hold a massive, indoor rally this Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the number of Covid-19 cases are currently spiking: “I can’t imagine anyone is telling him this is okay.”
On Cuomo Prime Time, the eponymous host asked Gupta to explain President Donald Trump’s reasoning for bringing together tens of thousands of his supporters for a rally.
“Why would the president do what he’s doing, Sanjay,” Chris Cuomo asked. “You don’t have any better data than his guys do, right? They’re the ones studying all this at the CDC? He’s having his rally in Tulsa, forget about the optics of where he’s going to do, when he’s going to do it. No mask, mask optional. Let’s pack it in, let’s have record numbers. Why is that okay? Who’s telling him that’s okay?”
“It’s not okay. You heard Vice President [Mike] Pence sort of justifying it today, I think even he was searching for the language to make this okay. Nobody is saying this is okay,” Gupta explained, alluding to the fact that Pence on Monday touted Oklahoma as having successfully “flattened the curve” when, in fact, the state saw record high new daily cases over the weekend. Last week, the campaign added a liability waiver to the rally’s registration process, which prevents attendees from suing Trump or the campaign should they contract the coronavirus at the event.
“The CDC, they put risk factors on different gatherings,” Gupta added. “The gathering we’re talking about here is the highest risk, right? 20,000 capacity in this particular arena, that’s the number of people they want in. There will be no physical distancing. It’s indoors. People coming from all over the place. They’re then coming back to their communities. Putting people shoulder to shoulder, masks optional. The virus is the virus, Chris. We’ve been talking about this for 5-1/2 months. The virus hasn’t changed in all this, it’s a contagious virus. That scenario is the worst case. I cannot believe in the middle of June, that that would even be a possibility.”
“And it looks like it’s actually going to happen,” an incredulous Gupta continued. “We have learned other good things as well in terms of what might work, Chris. Masks. Back and forth on masks. Take a look at the numbers. I have the virus, what’s the likelihood I would spread it to you if I did not have a mask on? About 17-1/2% they said. This is early evidence. If you have a face mask on, it’s 3%. It’s about a six-fold improvement, mitigation in spread. It’s not perfect, but it makes a difference. You want to get back to some sort of normalcy, you want to have freedoms to go out and stuff like that, it probably should involve wearing a mask for the reasons I’m showing you there. The data is becoming clearer. So, I don’t know how to answer your first question who says this is okay. My guess is nobody says it’s okay.”
“Well, we know one guy does,” Cuomo quickly replied, clearly alluding to Trump, who is tested daily for Covid-19 and enjoys perhaps the world’s best personal healthcare.
❗️NEW: Oklahoma reports 228 new cases of coronavirus, another record increase.— Dillon Richards (@KOCODillon) June 16, 2020
The 7-day average continues to skyrocket, far surpassing the peak of the outbreak early on.@koconews pic.twitter.com/X81jvNsT1i