Mobile-phone location data from people who attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Oklahoma show that most came from outside Tulsa, hailing from at least 44 counties spread across 12 states. Covid-19 is on the rise in 33 of them.
Trump supporters traveled from across the Oklahoma region for the June 20 event, according to a Bloomberg analysis of data from SafeGraph. They didn’t fill the arena though and public health experts say the extra space may have lessened the risks of transmission.
Even so, it was far from a small gathering. Tulsa’s fire department estimated the crowd at the BOK Center numbered 6,200, making it the largest indoor event in the U.S. since March.
People came from places including Tarrant County, Texas — home to Fort Worth — where new cases were up more than 50% in the two weeks before the rally. There’s also Shelby County, Tennessee, where Memphis is located, which put plans to loosen restrictions on hold last week after new infections spiked, and Wake County in North Carolina, where the state capital of Raleigh is and the virus is spreading faster than anywhere else in the state.
All three states and Oklahoma are seeing rising case numbers. The virus has spiked in Texas, with record new numbers reported in each of the past three days, prompting Governor Greg Abbott to halt the state’s reopening. On Friday, he ordered all bars to close by noon after the state’s positive-test rate topped 11%. Oklahoma also reported a record number of new infections.
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