Pocan’s Bill Would Allow People Who Get Sick at Trump Rallies to Sue the President

President Trump rallies supporters in Green Bay on Apr. 27, 2019



By Pat Kreitlow

June 17, 2020

Attendees would not be forced to sign a waiver as the Trump campaign is currently planning.

Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan has decided President Trump should not get a free pass to escape potential legal liability if his resumption of arena rallies results in people getting infected with the coronavirus.

Pocan, D-Madison, introduced what he titles the Refusal to Accept Losses or Liability In Every Situation (RALLIES) Act, which would prevent liability waivers from being enforced for indoor gatherings of 1,000 or more people if the 14-day COVID case trend is increasing in the locality the gathering is being held. 

Trump is planning to host his first large rally since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic this Saturday at a 19,000-seat indoor arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Trump campaign is requiring all attendees to sign liability waivers due to the high likelihood of contracting COVID-19.

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, the President has refused to take ownership over his administration’s disastrous response to COVID-19,” Pocan said in a press release. “As we see cases continue to — including over 300 new cases in Tulsa County over the last week alone — this President wants the right to endanger thousands of people at an indoor stadium with impunity. We refuse to let a candidate for re-election threaten the lives of the people of this country for political gain. With over 2 million COVID cases in the United States and over 116,000 deaths, I would hope this President’s actions would prioritize recovery, not a resurgence in cases nationwide.”

The release by Pocan noted he previously wrote to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield last week, asking whether he believes states and localities should permit large indoor public events like the rally, 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. 

Redfield has not responded, and Pocan said that is what prompted the bill “to prevent the President from evading accountability for his dangerous actions.”


  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.



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