After K-pop stans and Tiktokers flooded the online registration for Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Students for Trump has quietly removed online sign-ups for its convention today in Phoenix, the Daily Mail first reported. While it’s unconfirmed that the stans were solely responsible for the meager turnout, which has also been attributed to pandemic fears, it’s safe to assume they’re a pain in the arse.
TikTokers can be seen giving instructions on how one would register for the Students for Trump rally under the #kpop and #dumptrump hashtags, and Anonymous tweeted a link to the convention’s registration page on Sunday. Students for Trump, which isn’t outwardly officially affiliated with the Trump campaign, has not responded to Gizmodo’s request for comment, but the event page has a statement encouraging supporters to show up to the venue on Tuesday.
Perhaps the clearest material victory of inflated registration is that it really bugs Trump, who bragged about 1 million online sign-ups ahead of the rally, barely filled a third of the stadium capacity, and never got the overflow rally he expected. (He made an unsubstantiated claim that a bunch of “very violent” “maniacs” sabotaged the event outside.) White House associates told NBC that Trump was “furious” about the turnout, and the New York Times reports that White House officials called the rally “a disaster.”
Students for Trump has set more modest expectations, estimating attendance of about 3,000. Trump has been eerily quiet about the convention, mentioning only that he’ll be in Arizona today to celebrate the success of the border wall and bragging about how rally coverage got highest-ever Saturday night viewership on Fox News.
The event page does include a liability waiver that looks like it was lifted from the Tulsa rally registration page, stating that attendees understand the risk of covid-19 exposure and agree not to sue the organisation or affiliates in the event of illness or injury. After reports that new covid-19 cases surged in Arizona last week, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has asked attendees and the president to wear masks.
Not to fear, however, say church leaders, who claim the building has cutting-edge covid-19-killing technology. In a now-removed video, church leaders brag about an “air-purifying” HVAC system that “kills 99.9 per cent of covid within ten minutes.” They call it “ionis-i-tion.” Some are examining bipolar ionisation as a potential mitigation tactic, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that a home air purifier is not enough to protect against the virus.