On Saturday, President Trump’s first political rally of the summer was held in an indoor arena in Oklahoma amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Some officials urged the Trump campaign to cancel the June 20 rally out of fear that the event would spread coronavirus infections. Other officials, however, joined the rally.
Registration forms for the event contained a waiver that stated that attendees, “are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present.” The waiver added that registrants, “voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19,” and agree to not hold the Trump campaign liable for, “any illness or injury.”
After the rally announcement, Tulsa residents filed a lawsuit which sought an injunction unless event organizers instituted, “appropriate social distancing protocols . . . including the mandatory use of face-masks[.]” Paul DeMuro, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, is quoted on CNN as stating, “All we’re asking, it’s very simple: if the President wants to hold a rally here, he needs to abide by the social distancing guidelines of his own.”
Nonetheless, a Tulsa court denied the injunction request and the rally did take place, though it was more sparsely attended than anticipated. If any rally attendees do ultimately sue the Trump campaign, it is likely the waiver will be used as a defense, even if its effectiveness is questionable.
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