(WXYZ) — When asked by 7 Action News DC Reporter Joe St. George if he is “potentially putting the lives of Americans at risk by continuing to hold these indoor events?”
The president responded, “No, I don’t think so.”
A big question for Phoenix @abc15 tonight - is the President's visit on Tuesday worth it? Cases are spiking in Arizona and he'll be hosting a "Students for Trump" event inside a church. The President says he isn't worried at all. pic.twitter.com/EWKg2s3tbc
— Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) June 22, 2020
The question comes as the coronavirus may have impacted the attendance of President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday. Roughly 6,900 people were attendance at the more than 19,000 capacity BOK Center.
Before the rally, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer suggested she may try to stand in the way of the President if he were to schedule a rally in the Great Lakes State, telling the Associated Press in an interview she “would think very seriously about” trying to block Trump from hosting a rally.
“We know that congregating without masks, especially at an indoor facility, is the worst thing to do in the midst of a global pandemic,” said Whitmer in the interview. “I just know we have limitations on the number of people that can gather and that we’re taking this seriously.”
Oakland University Political Science Professor David Dulio says the move would play into the political back and forth between Whitmer and Trump that’s played itself out the past few months.
“It would be interpreted certainly by Republicans as a slap in the face to the president. As hypocritical even. And they would say to the governor what about the march that you participated in a couple of weeks ago,” Dulio said.
Dulio’s analysis of the lack of political rally’s due to coronavirus is that it may not carry significant weight because much of the outcome is “baked in” he said, meaning voters are already in their political corners for the most part, with an anticipated smaller undecided pool than in previous years, but he doesn’t discount it could play a small role in November’s outcome.
“The campaign’s do these rally’s for more than just the attendance, more than just talking to that crowd. They use it for many things. It could lead to voter registration, it could lead to fundraising efforts, and as I mentioned, earned media is critical for those campaigns and the coverage they get coming out of them,” Dulio said.