Two more Trump campaign staffers tested positive for the novel coronavirus after attending the President’s first re-election campaign rally on Saturday.
Trump’s campaign confirmed to TPM in a statement on Monday that two additional members of the re-election campaign tested positive for coronavirus “after another round of testing for campaign staff in Tulsa.”
“These staff members attended the rally but were wearing masks during the entire event,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told TPM in a statement. “Upon the positive tests, the campaign immediately activated established quarantine and contact tracing protocols.”
News of two more Trump campaign members testing positive for the novel coronavirus brings the total number of its advance team staffers who attended the Tulsa rally to eight.
Hours before the President’s re-election rally kicked off on Saturday, the Trump campaign confirmed that six members who worked at the rally tested positive for the coronavirus.
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement ahead of the rally on Saturday that “per safety protocols, campaign staff are tested for COVID-19 before events.”
“Six members of the advance team tested positive out of hundreds of tests performed, and quarantine procedures were immediately implemented,” Murtaugh said on Saturday. “No COVID-positive staffers or anyone in immediate contact will be at today’s rally or near attendees and elected officials,” he said.
On Sunday, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and Murtaugh blamed the media for the Tulsa rally’s embarrassingly low turnout. Parscale claimed that “a week’s worth of the fake news media warning people away from the rally because of COVID and protestors, coupled with recent images of American cities on fire, had a real impact on people bringing their families and children to the rally.” Murtaugh echoed Parscale soon after, tweeting that the “real factor was media-stoked fear.”
In the days leading up to the rally, Parscale touted that more than a million people had registered for the event how it was being held in an arena with 19,000 seats. Fewer than 6,200 people attended the rally, however, which reportedly infuriated the President.