Fact check: Pence lies about decrease in virus cases ahead of Trump rally


The Trump campaign plans to disregard health experts' warnings and hold a large indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this weekend.

On Monday, Mike Pence mischaracterized the state of the pandemic in Oklahoma as Donald Trump gears up for a weekend rally in Tulsa, his first such event in months.

A look at Pence's statement:

MIKE PENCE: "Oklahoma has really been in the forefront of our efforts to slow the spread. And in a very real sense, they've flattened the curve. ... The number of cases in Oklahoma — it's declined precipitously." -- remarks Monday.

THE FACTS: The curve has actually been spiking higher since late May, not flattening.

Oklahoma did report just 41 new coronavirus cases on May 28, a relative low compared with early April. But infections have since increased. Over the weekend, the state posted sharply higher numbers and set a daily record of new cases on Tuesday, at 228.

Oklahoma is among the nearly half of the states that have seen coronavirus infections rise since May when governors began loosening social distancing orders.

In Tulsa, where a Trump rally is scheduled for Saturday, the infection rate is also rising steadily after remaining moderate for months. The four-day average number of new cases in the city has doubled from the previous peak in April. The city's own health department director, Dr. Bruce Dart, has said he hopes the rally will be postponed, noting that large indoor gatherings are partially to blame for the recent spread.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, said he's asked the Trump campaign to consider a larger, outdoor venue to help accommodate a bigger crowd.