Attendees at Trump's First Rally Since March Can't Sue if They Get Coronavirus
Anyone who attends a Trump rally in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic does so at their own risk.
President Donald Trump is hosting his first rally since March at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma next week, CBS News reported. The venue seats more than 19,000 people, a clear violation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) social distancing guidelines. And the campaign wants to make sure it is not liable if any attendees fall ill.
"By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present," the fine print at the bottom of the registration page reads. "By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury."
Trump's campaign is asking supporters seeking tickets for his Oklahoma rally next week to waive liability if they c… https://t.co/dpDsSFrtVd— Bloomberg QuickTake (@Bloomberg QuickTake)1591952946.0
The registration information for the June 19 rally was first sent out Thursday, POLITICO reported. The webpage makes no mention of any safety precautions being taken to encourage social distancing at the event, or of the fact that CDC recommends that people wear masks in indoor areas where social distancing is difficult.
Trump has said he wants his rallies full and has been disdainful of face masks, CBS pointed out.
Oklahoma began the process of reopening April 24 and moved on to Phase 3 June 1, which means summer camps could reopen and workplaces could be fully staffed, The New York Times reported. Its case numbers have stayed flat. As of Thursday, it had confirmed 7,626 cases and 357 deaths, its health department said.
"My office is working to confirm details about the venue and visit," Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum told CBS News in a statement. "Tulsans have managed one of the first successful re-openings in the nation, so we can only guess that may be the reason President Trump selected Tulsa as a rally site. The City of Tulsa continues to follow the State of Oklahoma's OURS plan on COVID-19 response as it relates to events, which encourages the organizer to have enhanced hygiene considerations for attendees."
However, CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus said the CDC did not have any guidelines for gatherings of more than 10,000 people.
"I don't know of any state guidelines that would enable that," he said.
While cases in Oklahoma have not spiked, they have in Florida, Arizona and North Carolina, where Trump also announced this week he would hold rallies, The New York Times pointed out.
"[W]e will ensure that everyone who goes is safe," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said of the rallies Wednesday, NPR reported. But she did not elaborate how that would happen.
The timing of Trump's next rally is controversial for another reason. It is set to take place on Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the date news of the abolition of slavery reached Texas. Tulsa is also the site of a 1921 massacre of Black Americans by a white mob, and the rally comes amidst ongoing national protests over racist murders of African Americans by cops and vigilantes.
"Tulsa was the site of the worst racist violence in American history. The president's speech there on Juneteenth is a message to every Black American: more of the same," Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida tweeted.
Tulsa was the site of the worst racist violence in American history. The president’s speech there on Juneteenth is… https://t.co/oIsVPaf39m— Rep. Val Demings (@Rep. Val Demings)1591889523.0
While some public health experts have also raised concerns about the spread of COVID-19 at the protests, outdoor gatherings are thought safer than indoor ones, The New York Times pointed out.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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