June 23 (UPI) — Two staffers who attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Oklahoma on Saturday tested positive for COVID-19, Trump’s campaign said Monday.
Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for Trump’s campaign, confirmed that two members of a campaign advance team who attended the rally at the Bank of Oklahoma Center tested positive for the coronavirus.
Previously, the campaign had announced that six other members tested positive for the virus ahead of the event and did not attend the rally as a result.
“After another round of testing for campaign staff in Tulsa, two additional members of the advance team tested positive for the coronavirus,” said Murtaugh. “These staff members attended the rally but were wearing masks during the entire event. Upon the positive tests, the campaign immediately established quarantine and contact-tracing protocols.”
Murtaugh said that campaign staffers are tested before events and the two who most recently tested positive were tested after the rally as a precaution before flying home.
The rally in Tulsa was Trump’s first campaign event since March before widespread efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 resulted in the canceling of large gatherings and other events.
During the rally, Trump referred to the coronavirus as the “Kung Flu,” blaming China for its arrival in the United States. He said he told officials in his administration to “slow the testing down” as an increase in testing would lead to an increase in coronavirus cases.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a press conference Monday that Trump was joking when he made the comments about slowing the rate of testing.
On Monday, the White House also scaled back temperature checks for visitors, as Washington, D.C., entered its second phase in its plan to reopen following restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus.
The United States has reported 2,305,950 cases of COVID-19 and 120,340 deaths related to the virus, more than any other nation, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.