Oklahoma Gov. Wants Bigger Venue for Trump's Tulsa Rally Despite County Seeing Highest Daily Increase in COVID-19 Cases

President Donald Trump's upcoming rally in Tulsa could be moved to a different venue amid a boom in ticket demand despite fears of COVID-19 spreading at the event.

According to the president, as of Monday almost a million people have requested tickets to attend the event on Saturday.

He tweeted: "Almost One Million people request tickets for the Saturday Night Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma!"

People have been seen waiting in line outside the venue already to attend the rally, the first such event held by the president since March.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has since said the event could be moved from its current venue of the BOK Center, which has a capacity of just over 19,000, potentially to an outdoor space.

On Monday he told reporters that having spoken to the president about the demand he was assessing the prospect of a different venue.

"I'm looking for a potential other venue that maybe we could move it outside. It's still kind of in the works," he said.

The president had previously spoken of using a convention hall near the BOK Center to increase the capacity of the event, stating he wants to triple the audience to 60,000 people.

It comes amid concerns that large gatherings risk significantly spreading the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19.

In an interview published by Tulsa World over the weekend, Tulsa Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said: "I wish we could postpone this to a time when the virus isn't as large a concern as it is today.

"I think it's an honor for Tulsa to have a sitting president want to come and visit our community, but not during a pandemic.

"I'm concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large, indoor event, and I'm also concerned about our ability to ensure the president stays safe as well."

trump rally
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally on March 2, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is set to hold his first rally since March on Saturday. Brian Blanco/Getty Images

On Friday, the Tulsa Health Department released a statement urging caution in regards to gatherings.

Dr. Dart said: "I have concerns about large groups of people gathering indoors for prolonged lengths of time. It is imperative that anyone who chooses to host or attend a gathering take the steps to stay safe. If you are sick or think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home.

"The bottom line is that the more people an infected individual interacts with and the longer that interaction lasts, the greater the risk for spreading COVID-19 becomes."

Tulsa county has since seen its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases. According to Tulsa Health Department, 89 cases were recorded since Sunday, June 14.

This brings the number of confirmed cases in Tulsa county to 1,653. Of those, 1,059 have recovered, 532 are currently suffering from the infection and 62 people have died, according to the county's health department figures.

Across Oklahoma, 186 new cases were confirmed on Monday, taking the state's total to 8,417.

Newsweek has contacted the Trump campaign for comment on the potential move and on the concerns raised over COVID-19.

Trump previously said the media was trying to "Covid Shame" him over his rallies.

He tweeted: "The Far Left Fake News Media, which had no Covid problem with the Rioters & Looters destroying Democrat run cities, is trying to Covid Shame us on our big Rallies. Won't work!"

COVID-19 cases across the U.S. continue to rise, with more than 2.1 million across the nation, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The graphic below, from Statista, shows the states with the highest number of cases as of June 15.

U.S. states with the most COVID-19 cases
U.S. states with the most COVID-19 cases. STATISTA