Jun 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Tulsa World editorial: "Wrong time" and "wrong place" for Trump rally

President Trump at a North Carolina rally in March. Photo: Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The editorial board for the Tulsa World, the city's daily newspaper, criticized on Monday President Trump's upcoming rally there, saying "we don’t know why he chose Tulsa, but we can’t see any way that his visit will be good for the city."

Why it matters: It argued that Tulsa is still recovering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic —  and noted that a large, indoor gathering could spark an outbreak, leaving the local health care system to deal with the repercussions.

  • Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Bruce Dart told the paper Sunday that he wishes Trump would postpone his June 20 rally, citing a "significant increase" in case trends that could put both the public and the president at risk.

What they're saying: "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 board wrote.

  • "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."
  • "The public health concern would apply whether it were Donald Trump, Joe Biden or anyone else who was planning a mass rally at the [Bank of Oklahoma Center]."
  • "This is the wrong time. Tulsa and the nation remain on edge after the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Trump, a divisive figure, will attract protests, the vast majority of which we expect to be peaceful."

Worth noting: By registering to attend, rally-goers agreed to a Trump campaign disclaimer that states they acknowledge the "inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present," CNN reports.

  • Attendees at the event will not be required to wear masks.

Go deeper: Infectious-disease expert warns of potential health risks at Trump rally

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