Donald Trump is moving ahead with plans to hold his first campaign rally in months this Saturday, appearing before what appears to be a sold-out crowd in Tulsa.
But two of the top experts on the White House coronavirus task force — Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx — reportedly tried to warn Trump against the dangers of holding such a large event during a global pandemic. As NBC News reported, the pair raised concerns about holding large-scale campaign rallies indoors, which goes against the suggestions of many public health experts in terms of social distancing.
The report claims that both Fauci and Birx voiced concerns about the event, though Trump’s campaign ultimately decided to move forward. It is not clear what sway the two might hold over the president’s decision-making, as the report noted that it has been close to two months since the last coronavirus task force briefing — and four weeks since Birx answered questions about the pandemic at the White House. Trump has also gone against the advice of some experts a number of times in the past, vocally opposing the idea of wearing a mask despite a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that everyone wear one while in public.
A source told NBC News that Trump has grown annoyed at Fauci continuing to speak to media, often contradicting the president when he does so.
“Fauci has consistently done media interviews with a range of outlets, which has annoyed the president, this person said. He has also repeatedly contradicted and undercut both Trump and Pence’s more optimistic messaging with science and data that suggests a second wave is indeed coming. Trump and Fauci have not spoken or met face to face in several weeks,” the report noted.
Many have criticized Trump for going forward with plans to hold an in-person rally in Tulsa despite a surge in coronavirus cases in Oklahoma, which in the last week has seen some of its largest daily increases in cases. As The Inquisitr reported, a number of public health experts have also warned that the event could lead to an outbreak of the virus, especially given the boasts from the Trump campaign that hundreds of thousands of supporters registered for tickets to attend. Many critics have taken aim directly at Trump, saying it is irresponsible for him to move forward with plans for the rally, and selfish to put others at risk in order to hold an event.