Los Angeles (AFP)

The number of Covid-19 cases identified in Tulsa, in the US state of Oklahoma, soared just over two weeks after a campaign meeting organized by Donald Trump in this city, authorities said on Wednesday. local sanitation.

While the number of Covid-19 cases dropped by 20% between the week of June 28 and July 4, the Tulsa Health Department reported more than 200 new infections every day since Monday, with a peak at 266 Wednesday.

Pressed to say if this explosion of cases was due to the presidential meeting of June 20, the local head of health services, Bruce Dart, estimated that it was "more than likely" that it was linked to "several major events which took place a little over two weeks ago. "

Several thousand supporters of the American president had witnessed his return on June 20 since the start of the pandemic.

The rally had sparked a lively controversy because many were worried about the health consequences of such a crowd, without respecting physical distances and notoriously reluctant to wear a mask, like Donald Trump himself.

The participants' temperature was taken at the entrance to the room and the masks distributed, but wearing was not compulsory. The overwhelming majority of the public attended the meeting with their faces uncovered.

Several members of the Republican billionaire's campaign team tested positive for Covid-19 before and after the Tulsa meeting, as well as agents from the Secret Service, the personalities protection service.

Thousands of people had also participated the day before in this city in the south of the country in the celebrations of "Juneteenth", which commemorates the liberation of the last slaves in Texas in 1865. In contrast to the presidential meeting, almost all the participants in this celebration , organized in the open air, wore masks and social distancing was de rigueur, AFP noted.

Before the Tulsa rally, Donald Trump's campaign team had his supporters who wanted to go to the meeting sign a discharge exempting him from any responsibility in the event of contamination with Covid-19.

© 2020 AFP