Days ahead of the president’s Tulsa, Oklahoma rally – his first post coronavirus lockdown event – Trump supporters are already lined up outside of the venue.
Supporters have been camped out in anticipation of the Saturday night rally which received over 1 million RSVPs. The BOK Center, the hosting venue, has a capacity of around 20,000 people.
Supporters have been seen lining the street since Monday.
“So you are prepared to sit out here for five-six days?” a local reporter asked a group holding up a Trump 2020 flag this week.
“We’re here till after the rally,” one woman assured the reporter. Another man added, “I came here Sunday at 9 a.m..”
Robin Stites, 58, had the second spot in line and sat in portable chairs under an umbrella with friends. She told USA Today she’d secured her spot on Monday and believed the wait was worth it.
“I’d love to let him know we’re here for him. We want to show our support,” she said. “We feel like President Trump and his family have dedicated their lives to helping our country. Sacrificing a week of our lives is nothing for what Trump has done for us.”
Stites said passersby are constantly bringing them supplies to show support. “You wouldn’t believe the people who stop and bring us stuff – water, donuts, Popsicles,” Stites said.
Stites did say however that the group had faced some shouting from passersby saying “Black Lives Matter!” but that these kinds of outtakes were largely outweighed by donations and honking from supporters.
“I’ve had a couple of black people come by and scream at us ‘Black Lives Matter!’ We said ‘Yeah, they do,'” Stites said Wednesday. “Us Trump people, we love everybody. We’re just not about the rioting and tearing up things.”
Left wing media outlet MSNBC asked the protesters if they were concerned about catching Covid-19 while attending the rally in such proximity to others. “I think if protesters are immune to the corona, maybe Trump supporters are too,” one Trump responded.
Republicans have called out hypocrisy by the media for seemingly glowing reports of tens of thousands taking to the streets in close proximity to protest the death of George Floyd.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also argued hypocrisy is at play when she faced a barrage of questions on Wednesday regarding rally concerns.
“While we appreciate the great concern for our rally goers, you should exhibit that same concern for the protesters who are out there not socially distancing in many cases,” McEnany told reporters, as she called on them to work on their “internal cohesion.”
Trump’s rally was originally scheduled for June 19 in Tulsa, where in 1921, a mob of white residents massacred black residents and burned black businesses. As many as 300 are believed to have died. But after taking criticism amid the protests against police brutality and racism, Trump moved the rally date to June 20 out of respect.
“We had previously scheduled our #MAGA Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for June 19th – a big deal. Unfortunately, however, this would fall on the Juneteenth Holiday,” the president wrote late last Friday.