Tulsa to Trump: Don't hold your rally here


As coronavirus cases spike in Oklahoma, officials in the state are urging Trump not to hold an indoor campaign rally there.

Donald Trump is set to hold his first campaign rally since coronavirus lockdowns were put in place on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

But as the state sees coronavirus cases spiking, everyone from state health officials to the Tulsa World Editorial Board is urging Trump to bag the rally for the sake of the health of Oklahomans.

"I'm concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large, indoor event," Bruce Dart, who heads Tulsa's health department, told the Tulsa World. "And I'm also concerned about our ability to ensure the president stays safe as well."

Cases of the coronavirus are on the rise in Oklahoma, with the state logging 225 positive tests on Sunday respectively — the highest number of cases logged since the pandemic began, according to data from the New York Times.

Public health experts say that mass indoor gatherings, such as the campaign rally Trump plans to hold in a 20,000 person indoor arena, are ideal conditions for the coronavirus to spread.

Those same public health experts say if indoor gatherings are held, there should be social distancing in place and people attending should wear masks.

But Trump has shunned mask-wearing. And polls show that Republican voters, such as the ones who will attend Trump's rally on Saturday, are less likely to wear masks.

The Trump campaign seems to understand the risks, forcing any who attend the rally to sign a waiver acknowledging the risk of contracting the coronavirus and waiving their right to sue the Trump campaign if they come down with COVID-19 after attending the event.

Given the rising number of cases and experts warning that an indoor rally is a terrible idea, the Tulsa World Editorial Board urged Trump not to come to their city.

"We don't know why he chose Tulsa, but we can't see any way that his visit will be good for the city," the Editorial Board wrote, adding there is no reason for Trump to come given that there's no evidence the event will "have any effect on November’s election outcome in Tulsa or Oklahoma."

Still, some Oklahoma Republicans are welcoming Trump for his visit, despite the risk.

"Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own health," Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said Sunday on ABC’s "This Week." Lankford plans to attend the rally.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.