President Donald Trump’s “Great American Comeback” rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will have the hallmarks of a “festival,” featuring musical acts, high-profile supporters, and camera crews, Axios reported on Thursday.
Trump is kicking off his return in style, throwing what the outlet described as a “massive pro-Trump festival complete with musical acts, and it’s flying in high-profile backers and camera crews to show the world the fervency of his supporters”:
Organizers are leasing a jet to fly in surrogates the night before and multiple film crews are being brought in to record the event, people familiar with the plans tell Axios.
The Trump campaign, which had those registering for the event acknowledge a coronavirus disclaimer, has outlined the safety measures it is taking at the rally, including temperature checks and the distribution of hand sanitizer and masks.
Despite warnings and criticisms from critics — many of whom have, notably, praised the thousands of protesters who have flocked to the streets in recent weeks — about one million people signed up for the event, which is taking place at the Bank of Oklahoma (BOK) Center. The facility holds 19,000, but Axios added that the campaign is expected to set up a stage in an area nearby, which can “hold tens of thousands more.”
“While Trump is scheduled to speak inside the BOK Center, additional staging is to be set up outside for other speakers and performers,” Axios reported, adding that they will appear “both inside and outside the arena,” as will Trump, who “plans to speak at both the indoor and outdoor stages, according to a source with direct knowledge of the plans.”
Dozens of surrogates and Republican lawmakers will be at the event, including Sens. Jim Inhofe, James Lankford, and Tom Cotton, per the outlet.
The event comes just two months ahead of the celebration of Trump’s nomination, slated to take place in Jacksonville, Florida, in August.
Critics have continued to lodge complaints at the president for resuming his rallies, which have been halted since early March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is what narcissism is about. Trump, in order to hear cheers from an adoring crowd, will defy science and sacrifice lives—not just those who go to his rally but those they come in contact with,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) remarked on Wednesday, declaring that Trump must be defeated “for the health of the American people”:
This is what narcissism is about. Trump, in order to hear cheers from an adoring crowd, will defy science and sacrifice lives—not just those who go to his rally but those they come in contact with. For the health of the American people he must be defeated.https://t.co/gb0HY3gUqp
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 17, 2020
Notably, Sanders has not accused the throngs of protesters who have taken to the streets in recent weeks of defying science or risking lives. Rather, the Vermont socialist proclaimed that he was “proud of the people standing up for justice and taking to the streets”:
I’m very proud of the people standing up for justice and taking to the streets. When we study history we look at pivotal moments — the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War II. People will look back on this time as one of those moments. pic.twitter.com/WzpH7i3fyD
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 5, 2020