MADISON, WI—Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI) today sent a letter to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, asking if he believes states and localities should permit large indoor public events like President Trump’s planned June 19th rally in Tulsa, attended by thousands of participants not practicing recommended social distancing or face-covering practices—particularly if organizers require liability waivers to attend due to the likelihood of contracting COVID-19.
Dr. Robert R. Redfield
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30329
Dear Director Redfield:
As a leading public health official and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), should states and localities permit large indoor public events attended by thousands of participants not practicing recommended social distancing or face-covering practices, particularly if organizers require liability waivers to attend due to the likelihood of contracting COVID-19?
Common sense, science, and current data lead me to believe that such indoor gatherings should not be permitted, but I am interested in your professional opinion.
More than half of the states in America are experiencing an increase in new daily cases of COVID-19. Eight states have more than a 50 percent increase in daily cases when compared to two weeks ago, and Arkansas, Utah, South Carolina, and Oregon all have more than a 100 percent increase. Arizona has the unique distinction of leading all states with a 232 percent increase in coronavirus cases compared to two weeks ago.
Now is not the time to yield to talking points, Dr. Redfield. Cases are increasing, and so will deaths. As CDC Director, I implore you to be honest with every American about the dangers of large indoor gatherings and signing their liability protections away, and to lead the President and other elected officials in a manner consistent with current data. To operate in any other manner will not only irrevocably stain any legacy of public service you leave behind, it will cost Americans their lives.