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“ ‘This is the wrong time and Tulsa is the wrong place for the Trump rally.’ ”
A Tulsa, Okla., newspaper is calling its city the wrong place for President Donald Trump to hold a weekend rally, with the coronavirus pandemic continuing and the city “on edge” in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
Trump’s rally was originally scheduled for Friday. The president said he’d reschedule it to Saturday, amid calls to change the original date from Juneteenth, the day celebrated as marking the end of slavery in the U.S.
Read:Trump says he will reschedule 2020 campaign rally in Tulsa that fell on Juneteenth holiday
The Tulsa World’s editorial says “we can’t see any way that his visit will be good for the city.” It notes there’s no vaccine for COVID-19 and says the local health-care system would have to deal with any effects of a mass indoor gathering of people. The public health concern would also apply to a rally by presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, if one were planned, the editorial said.
Invoking the May 25 killing of Floyd in Minneapolis, the editorial says Trump, “a divisive figure, will attract protests, the vast majority of which we expect to be peaceful. But there may also be confrontation and inappropriate behavior from some.” The death of Floyd, an unarmed black man, while in police custody, has sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. over racial inequality and police brutality.
Health experts are also questioning the decision to hold an indoor rally (at a venue that has postponed its entire slate of concerts and events till at least next month), and cite the danger of infection spreading among the crowd and leading to outbreaks when people return home. As the Associated Press wrote, the Trump campaign has acknowledged the risk in a waiver that those ordering the event’s free tickets must agree to.
Read:Trump rally in Tulsa labeled dangerous by public health experts
In announcing the Tulsa event, Trump’s campaign said, “There is no better place than America’s Heartland to restart our Make America Great Again rallies.”