On Saturday evening in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Donald Trump held his first rally since the coronavirus lockdown began and it was quite the spectacle.
Speaking in front of a 19,000 seat arena which was nowhere near as full as members of the Trump administration had predicted, the president tried to downplay the dangers of so many people congregating in one place while the pandemic was still ongoing.
Indeed before the event had even started, six of Trump's staff members had tested positive for Covid-19, proving that really wasn't that safe for the rally to be taking place at all. That being said the show must go on and Trump didn't let his fans down in the slightest.
The president reportedly spoke for nearly two hours and tackled many of his favourite subjects such as 'fake news,' downplaying coronavirus, the left, Black Lives Matter protesters and his own personal health amongst other things.
Before all that, though it was down to the support acts to get the small crowd revved up. These included his son Eric Trump and his wife Lara, as well as Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. Their witty routines included getting the crowd to chant 'lock her up' at the mere mention of Hillary Clinton and calling the Black Lives Matter activist, some of whom had staged a protest outside of the building 'animals.'
Crowd is chanting “lock her up” after Hillary Clinton is mentioned. https://t.co/JJR3zBgKik
Next up was Mike Pence who reeled off a bunch of dubious stats about unemployment in the United States and how quickly Trump moved to enforce a travel ban from China, despite him not doing so until coronavirus had already been reported in the United States.
Mike Pence is out here just straight up pretending that the unemployment rate isn't over 13 percent https://t.co/ETsBEpKvqX
Pence boldly said that the administration is putting 'the health of America first' despite supporters being asked to sign a waiver ahead of the rally absolving the administration from any blame should attendees get coronavirus.
PENCE: "We will always put the health of America first."
Attendees literally had to sign a waiver stipulating the… https://t.co/GhD2lTNWZq
Trump then mentions the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) in Seattle which prompts boos from the crowd. Rather than giving a thoughtful answer as to why the area was set up in the first place, Trump claims:
It's probably better for us to just watch that disaster. I flew in with some of our great congressmen and I said to them 'congressman, what do you think?' I can straighten it out fast and just go in. 'No sir, let it simmer for a little while. Let people see what radical left Democrats will do to our country.
Trump appeared to have troubling saying Covid-19, referring to it as 'Co-ved,' earned a huge applause after calling it 'the Chinese virus' and then claimed that he had saved '100,000 of lives' despite the US recording more than 120,000 deaths, more than anywhere else in the world.
Trump on coronavirus, which has now killed 121,000 Americans: "I have done a phenomenal job on it." https://t.co/SkX9NS7PLA
Still, on coronavirus, Trump outrageously said that he had encouraged officials to slow down testing because too many cases were being found and told a short story about a 10-year-old boy who had 'the sniffles' and was logged as a positive case.
"Here's the bad part: When you do testing to that extent, you're gonna find more people, you're gonna find more cas… https://t.co/EriTDIHEiS
Trump then claimed that left-wing mobs were trying to erase US history by removing monuments. He said:
The unhinged left-wing mob is trying to vandalise our history, desecrate our monuments. Our beautiful monuments. Tear down our statues, cancel and persecute anyone who does not conform to their demands for absolute and total control. We're not conforming. That's why we are here actually. This cruel campaign of censorship and exclusion violates everything that we hold dear as Americans. They want to demolish our heritage so they can impose their new oppressive regime in its place. They want to defund and dissolve our police departments.
Trump then complains about coronavirus having 'too many names' and then uses a racial stereotype to calling it 'kung flu'
Trump calls the coronavirus "Kung flu" and then says, "many call it a flu." (Nobody with a working brain says that.) https://t.co/2Wlmv7L4na
Trump then spoke a length about 'rampgate' and the viral videos that showed him struggling to walk down a ramp at the West Point Military Academy last week. Trump spoke about this for well over five minutes.
"The stage was higher than this one ... I'm weather leather-bottom shoes ... it was like an ice-skating rink" -- Tr… https://t.co/1CLzgcl3Sz
In addition to the ramp, Trump also spoke about another video where he appeared to struggle to drink a glass of water, claiming that his arm was tired after saluting too much. In a completely bizarre moment, he then drank from a glass of water with no problem and threw it down on to the floor which prompted a massive reaction from the crowd. Once again, this is the president of the United States.
"I don't want to get water on the tie" -- Trump is now whining that people noticed that he seemed to have a hard ti… https://t.co/bVguysCl4C
Moving on, Trump proposes introducing a law that will see anyone who attempts to vandalise the American flag will be thrown into jail for a year.
We ought to come up with legislation that if you burn the American flag you go to jail for one year ... if somebody wants to burn the American flag and stomp on it, but just burn it, they go to jail for one year.
Trump goes on to suggest that the protesters in places like Minneapolis are arsonists and that some might have been illegal immigrants.