Questions over COVID-19 safety linger as North Phoenix church hosts Trump event

On Tuesday, President Trump will head to Phoenix for another visit to the Valley.

President Trump is set to attend a Students for Trump event at the Dream City Church in North Phoenix. The event marks the third Presidential visit to the Valley in 2020, and it is taking place roughly four months after President Trump's rally at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Downtown Phoenix.

Christine Ong Cothrun says she’s excited to be in the crowd.

"After the last few months of COVID, we’ve all been cooped up, and there’s their automatic enthusiasm in supporting our President and making America great again," said Ong Cothrun.

Organizers are expecting more than 3,000 people at the church on Tuesday, with the event starting at 1:30 p.m. and the President expected to appear at 3:45 p.m., following a trip to Yuma to tour a section of the border wall.

Event to take place amid surge in COVID-19 cases

This event is taking place as Arizona, as well as the U.S., is dealing with an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. On Monday, it was reported that two staff members who attended President Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma have tested positive for COVID-19.

The event is also taking place as Arizona is seeing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. On Monday, figures released by the Department of Health Services show an increase of 2,196 cases, which is down from 2,592 from Sunday.

In response to the increase, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has allowed local governments to make their own rules on whether to require people to wear masks while out in public.

READ MORE: List of Arizona cities with face mask requirements

At least three Arizona counties, including Maricopa County, have enacted mask requirements.

Attendees like Ong Cothrun say they are not worried over safety.

"I’m not worried, and I know a lot of folks that are going are not worried. We will be taking precautions and wearing our MAGA masks, as is the Phoenix mandate," said Ong Cothrun. "We're warriors, and warriors win, and I look at everything the President has done for the people. The least we can do is show up and show up without fear."

Church officials try to allay fears over safety, but questions remain

On its website, officials with Dream City Church say they have contracted another business to install units of an air purification production called CleanAir EXP.

"These units were invented by a local Arizona company IONaer Arizona LLC, d/b/a CleanAir EXP. CleanAir EXP is a revolutionary air and surface purification solution that combines the most sophisticated in-room sensors with the latest air purification technology to clean indoor air and surfaces of viruses, allergens, pathogens, odors, smoke, mold, ozone and harmful chemicals," read a portion of the statement.

FOX 10 has visited the CleanAir EXP product website, and on the front page, officials with the company selling the product state that lab tests confirm their product eliminates 99.9% of "coronavirus surrogate from the air in less than 10 minutes."

However, the claim is marked with an asterisk, which leads readers to a disclaimer that reads: "Biosafety lab analysis performed on active Coronavirus 229E and Cystovirus Phi6 test surrogates."

“We understand there is recent confusion around the claims made by one of our customers around our laboratory testing. We’re at the forefront of air and surface purification testing and technology – we tested with a third-party Certified Biosafety Laboratory on the best coronavirus surrogates available (Coronavirus 229E and Cystovirus Phi6) and found our patented technology leads to a 99.9% elimination of airborne coronavirus surrogates. We do not, however, eliminate COVID-19 at this time. Our coronavirus surrogate testing results are significant for the future of clean air. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the CDC for additional laboratory testing and support the CDC’s guidelines on hygiene habits to prevent the spread of COVID-19, stated Tim Bender, CEO of CleanAir EXP. 

CDC's website on the human coronavirus lists seven coronaviruses that can infect people, one of which is Coronavirus 229E.

Officials with the CDC lists Coronavirus 229E, along with three other types of coronavirus, as "Common Human Coronaviruses."

"Common human coronaviruses, including types 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1, usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people get infected with one or more of these viruses at some point in their lives," read a portion of the CDC webpage.

Coronavirus 229E, however, is not listed as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The virus that causes COVID-19 is listed as SARS-CoV-2. CDC Officials also note that information they placed on their Common Human Coronaviruses page should not be confused with COVID-19.

Petition calls for event's postponement

As the event nears, more than 1,400 people, along with Democrats in State Legislative District 28 signed a petition that urges Gov. Ducey to ask the President to postpone the event due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The petition was delivered to the Governor's Office on Monday.

"The youth are going to go into that venue. Some will have masks, some won't have masks. They'll be backed in there tightly, and it will spread to their parents, and the numbers will increase even higher in the next two weeks," said Nancy Schriber, Democratic Chair of Legislative District 28.

According to maps provided by the Arizona State Legislature, Legislative District 28 covers portions of Scottsdale and Phoenix.

FOX 10 has reached out to the Governor's office for a response.