Supporters without facemasks react at the end of U.S. President Donald Trump nearly two hour long speech during his first re-election campaign rally in several months in the midst of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S., June 20, 2020.
Paul Monies, a reporter with the nonprofit news outlet Oklahoma Watch, revealed Friday that he tested positive for COVID-19.
Monies, who said he currently has no symptoms, got tested as a precaution after covering US President Donald Trump’s June 20 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Another reporter who worked with Monies said they both wore masks “but it was very difficult to avoid large crowds.”
Several Trump staffers who prepped for the rally also tested positive for COVID-19. Dozens of Secret Service agents are also in quarantine.
Public health authorities had urged the Trump campaign to postpone the rally, citing the increased danger of transmitting the coronavirus at indoor events.
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A journalist who covered US President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has tested positive for COVID-19 nearly a week later.
Paul Monies, a reporter with the nonprofit news outlet Oklahoma Watch, revealed on Friday that he tested positive despite not yet showing any symptoms. He took the test as a precaution after attending the rally.
Two Trump campaign staffers who were at the event have also tested positive, joining a half-dozen others on the advance team for the rally who contracted the virus before the event — including two members of the Secret Service.
“I’m pretty surprised,” Monies posted on Twitter. “I have zero symptoms (so far) and I feel fine. In fact, I ran 5 miles this morning.”
“I spent the last few hours calling people I know I’ve been in contact with in the last 14 days,” he added.
Just over 6,000 people attended Trump’s June 20 campaign event. Beforehand, local public health officials had expressed hope that the rally would be postponed.
“I’m concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large, indoor event,” Dr. Bruce Dart, director of the Tulsa City-County Health Department, told the newspaper Tulsa World.
“COVID is here in Tulsa,” he said. “It is transmitting very efficiently.”
Keaton Ross, another reporter at Oklahoma Watch, said that both he and his colleague were wearing masks at the rally. But “it was very difficult to avoid large crowds, especially as we left the arena,” he noted.
Ross said he was going to get tested and was “bracing for a positive result.”
It’s “scary to think there are thousands of people like me (likely positive but feel fine) who are out and about,” Ross added.
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