Ahead of President Trump’s campaign rally in Oklahoma on Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence said that Oklahoma was chosen because it has flattened the curve of coronavirus cases. In fact, according to the New York Times, the number of new coronavirus cases in Oklahoma has risen in June.
- Mr. President, earlier today, you tweeted that you believe that you were being COVID-shamed because of your decision to go ahead with the Tulsa rally on Saturday night. The director of the health department in the county and in the city has encouraged you to postpone that, saying they still think that they've got too big a COVID problem for you to pull off a rally like that. Your thoughts on that.
DONALD TRUMP: Well, Oklahoma's done very well. I just spoke to the governor. He's very excited about it. Governor Stitt, who's done a terrific job. Mike, I think you can maybe speak to this. He's done a great job. Oklahoma's at a very low number. They've done really fantastic work. They have a pretty new magnificent arena, as you probably have heard. And we're getting exact numbers out, but we're either close to or over 1 million people wanting to go. We have a 22,000 seat arena, but I think we're going to also take the convention hall next door, and that's going to hold 40,000, so we'll have 22,000 plus 40,000, which would mean that would have over 900,000 people that won't be able to go, but hopefully they'll be watching.
But it's an amazing-- nobody's ever heard of numbers like this. I think we're going to have a great time. We're going to talk about our nation. We're going to talk about where we're going, where we've come from. And I can tell you, on COVID, or coronavirus, or whatever you want to call it-- plenty of names-- tremendous progress is being made. I spoke with the governor of Texas where they've done a fantastic job, but he said they have had some outbreaks in prisons. And that's where their numbers went out. And the numbers change a little bit because of the prison population, but he's got it in great shape. Texas. Florida's doing very well. Georgia's doing very well. We have tremendous numbers.
We have hot spots, as I said you might. And we take care of the hot spots. But many of the governors have done a very good job. Some not as good as others, some very good.
But Oklahoma's been a place that I think-- one of the reasons we chose it is because of how well they've-- because it's early. It's very early. And because of what a great job the governor and everybody else has done in Oklahoma. And we expect to have-- it's like a record-setting crowd. We've never had an empty seat, and we certainly won't in Oklahoma. Mike, you want to talk about how well Oklahoma's done relative to other places?
MIKE PENCE: Certainly, Mr. President. President and I both spoken to Governor Kevin Stitt in the last several days, and even earlier today. And Oklahoma has really been in the forefront of our efforts to slow the spread, and in a very real sense, they flattened the curve. And today, their hospital capacity is abundant. The number of cases in Oklahoma has declined precipitously, and we feel very confident going forward. And with the rally this coming weekend, we're working closely with the governor. We'll have measures in place to be screening people coming in to the facilities.
But Oklahoma's really led the way in demonstrating that we can safely reopen. And so as we gather to hear from the president and hear about the stakes in this election, we'll also be celebrating a state that's demonstrated every day that you can put health first, and open up, and do all those things at the same time.