- On Friday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously rejected a bid to require attendees of Trump’s Saturday rally to wear masks and practice social distancing.
- “It is not the duty of this Court to fashion rules or regulations where none exist,” the court wrote.
- The ruling follows warnings from health experts who fear the rally at the BOK Centre could be a “superspreader” event.
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The Oklahoma Supreme Court will not stand in the way of people who want to attend President Trump’s rally in Tulsa tomorrow without wearing masks or practicing social distancing.
In a unanimous decision Friday, the court rejected a bid to require everyone inside the 19,000-seat BOK Centre to take such precautions, known to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“It is not the duty of this Court to fashion rules or regulations where none exist,” the court wrote, according to the New York Post.
The justices said the petitioners – including racial equality nonprofit John Hope Franklin for Reconciliation, Greenwood Centre, Ltd., which owns commercial real estate, and two local residents with compromised immune systems – failed to establish their “clear legal right” to have such measures ordered.
They also said state social distancing guidelines are not legal requirements for entertainment venues, the Post reported.
The news comes a day after the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 450 new infections, a one-day record for the state
Local and national health expert have warned the rally has all the makings of a superspreader event, in which one person infects many others.
Such gatherings seem to be responsible for most coronavirus outbreaks, and occur in indoor settings where a large number of people are in close quarters for an extended period of time.
Previous superspreader events include choir practices, religious services, and outbreaks in places like nursing homes, correctional facilities, and meatpacking plants.
“I am personally extremely concerned not only for what is going to happen this weekend, but what we’re going to have to deal with two weeks from now,” Bruce Dart, executive director of the health department in Tulsa, Oklahoma, told Vanity Fair.
“I think we’re in the potential for a perfect storm of disease transmission that Tulsa County does not need.” Calling the risks “horrific,” Dart added, “This could be a Beyonce concert and I’d still feel the same way.”
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