Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Black Earth) announced on Tuesday that he is introducing legislation to prevent liability waivers from being enforced for indoor gatherings of 1,000 or more people in places where the 14-day COVID case trend is increasing.
The Refusal to Accept Losses or Liability In Every Situation Act (RALLIES) Act would invalidate the liability waivers President Donald Trump’s campaign is planning to distribute at his rally at an indoor arena in Tulsa, Okla. on Saturday.
“As we see cases continue to rise — 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,” Pocan said in a statement. “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.”
In a letter to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield last week, Pocan asked for Redfield’s professional opinion on whether states and localities should permit large indoor public events attended by thousands of participants not practicing social distancing or face-covering practices — particularly if organizers require liability waivers to attend due to the likelihood of contracting COVID-19.
“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,” Pocan wrote, “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.”
According to Pocan’s office, Redfield had not responded by Tuesday when he introduced the RALLIES Act.