A harsh, plain-speaking editorial in Tulsa’s largest newspaper Monday declared that US President Donald Trump’s planned rally in the city Saturday will bring no benefit to the city — and will risk Oklahomans’ lives.
“This is the wrong time and Tulsa is the wrong place for a Trump rally,” the editorial in the Tulsa World stated.
“We don’t know why he chose Tulsa, but we can’t see any way that his visit will be good for the city.” There’s “no reason to think” Trump’s appearance “will have any effect on November’s election outcome” in the city or state — but it could trigger dire health consequences, the paper warned.
Tulsa is “still dealing with the challenges created by a pandemic. The city and state have authorized reopening — but that doesn’t make a mass indoor gathering of people pressed closely together and cheering a good idea,” the editorial added. “There is no treatment for COVID-19 and no vaccine. It will be our health care system that will have to deal with whatever effects follow.”
Trump claimed Monday at the White House that COVID-19 figures were “low,” and Vice President Mike Pence vowed that Oklahoma had “flattened” the curve. In fact, COVID-19 cases in the state, especially in Tulsa, are trending sharply upward. The head of the city’s health department said Friday that he “wishes” the rally would be postponed until the “virus isn’t as large a concern as it is today.”
The paper is also concerned about possible upheaval in the streets as Trump, termed a “divisive figure,” appears amid nationwide protests triggered by the brutal death of African American George Floyd during an arrest last month in Minneapolis.
Whatever happens, cash-strapped Tulsa will be left holding the bag to deal with any consequences as Trump flies back to Washington, the newspaper noted.
Trump’s visit will be “exciting ... but for a lot of the wrong reasons,” the editorial concluded. “We can’t welcome it.”
Check out the entire editorial here.