PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Hundreds of people started lining up to get the best seats at President Trump's rally in north Phoenix as early as midnight Tuesday morning. 

Despite the sharp rise in coronavirus cases across the state, attendees are willing to take the risk to be at the rally.

Will Azar, an attendee from Phoenix who was in line early Tuesday morning, said he plans to wear a mask and that being at the rally is worth the risk.

"I’m going to wear a mask, my father is a pulmonary critical care specialist in Florida so the virus is real and it’s killing people but I feel like I’m in the age group where if I would get it, I would knock it out quickly, I know that’s not the case for everyone, I’m willing to take the risk to be out here today,” Azar said.

Austin Smith, the national field director of Students for Trump, the group organizing the rally said they're doing all they can to keep people safe, but masks will remain "optional."

"It's definitely encouraged, but its also their choice," said Smith.

Face masks are now mandatory in public places in Phoenix. However, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said it won't be enforced at the president's rally.

Phoenix police is asking for residents to call 602-262-3111 during business hours or 602-262-6151 after hours to report an potential mask violations. 

"We are not going to do enforcement during the rally, but we will hope that Gov. Ducey, who is there, will tell people to wear masks. He believes in masks. He's a great spokesperson, but the best spokesman would be the president. If he told people at the rally, I bet they would do it," Gallego said.

The church holding the rally claims that they have an air unit that eliminates 99% of coronavirus. However, an emergency room doctor, Murtaza Akhter, who has been working with COVID-19 patients since the start of the pandemic, said the filtration system doesn't work when people are close to each other.

"The thing with rallies, for example, is that people are really close to each other so even if they have a filtration system, if this person coughs on this person, that person is clearly going to get sick; there’s no way for that particle or whatever you call it to be filtered,” Dr. Akhter said.

City officials were told that all rally-goers will have their temperature checked at the door and there will be hand sanitizing stations throughout the church.

The church holds about 3,000 people but it's unclear how many people will be allowed inside.

 

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