Donald Trump returned to the campaign rally circuit Saturday in Oklahoma still determined to weather a pandemic and save his presidency.
Choosing Tulsa as the site of his re-election restart, Trump blasted “Democrat-run” cities and his opponent — former Vice President Joe Biden.
Attendees were required to sign a waiver freeing the campaign of any liability related to COVID-19. The novel coronavirus has claimed 121,000 American lives. Prior to the start of the rally, it was announced six Trump campaign staffers had tested positive for the virus.
“Testing is a double-edged sword,” Trump told the crowd.
The President said when you test to the extent of what America has — 25 million — you will find more people and cases.
“So I said to my people,” Trump blared over the microphone. “Slow the testing down!”
Biden, Trump said, is a “very willing Trojan horse for socialism.”
The crowd size was criticized roundly in what was the end of a rough week for Trump. On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled an employer could not fire staff for being LGBT. Protests against policing and white supremacy have turned violent in some cities and black leaders took issue with Trump’s decision to hold a rally on the anniversary of Juneteenth in a city where black residents were attacked and murdered by an angry white mob in 1921.
Leading in most national polls, Biden is largely campaigning remotely and has yet to announce his running mate. On Saturday, Biden discussed transforming pain into change with black civil rights activist and gay author Christian Cooper. Cooper was a participant in a racially-charged birdwatching incident last month in New York’s Central Park.
“Christian Cooper’s encounter in Central Park was another wake-up call for our nation and a reminder of the work that remains to root out hate and intolerance,” Biden tweeted. “I’m grateful for Christian’s support and know with folks like him leading the way, we’ll get the job done.”
Biden called Trump’s willingness to put people at risk and violate CDC guidelines “unbelievable.”
“Speed up the testing,” Biden tweeted.