Washington, Jun 10 (efe-epa).- US President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will travel next week to Oklahoma for his first campaign rally since the coronavirus pandemic forced a suspension of large gatherings three months ago.
The Republican incumbent shared the news during a meeting at the White House with African American supporters.
Neither Trump or any of his guests wore a face mask.
The June 19 event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a major oil industry hub is to followed by rallies in Florida, Arizona and North Carolina.
The real estate mogul won Oklahoma over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in 2016 with more than 65 percent of the vote and the state is expected to go for Trump again in the Nov. 3 election.
Florida, Arizona and North Carolina were all in the Republican column in 2016, but are seen as up-for-grabs in the 2020 contest.
There has been no word from the Trump campaign regarding what – if any – precautions will be taken at rallies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, even though a number of states have seen spikes in infection rates as they have move to lift the restrictions on movement and activity imposed in March.
The United States is the center of the Covid-19 pandemic, with nearly 2 million confirmed cases and more than 112,000 deaths, according to the independent tally kept by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
“Americans are ready to get back to action and so is President Trump,” Brad Parscale, the president’s campaign manager, said earlier this week. “The Great American Comeback is real and the rallies will be tremendous.”
“You’ll again see the kind of crowds and enthusiasm that Sleepy Joe Biden can only dream of,” Parscale said, using Trump’s derogatory nickname for his presumptive Democratic opponent.
The president has repeatedly mocked Biden, who served as vice president under Barack Obama, for rarely venturing out of his Delaware home during the Covid-19 crisis.
Recent polls show Biden with a growing lead over Trump amid the ongoing nationwide protests that followed the March 25 killing in Minneapolis of African American George Floyd by a white police officer.
The average of national surveys calculated by the website Real Clear Politics gives Biden an advantage of 49 percent to 41 percent over Trump. EFE bpm/dr