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Why, Tulsa, why?

Bank of Oklahoma Center, Tulsa, OK
Bank of Oklahoma Center, Tulsa, OK

June 19, 2020 — Tomorrow is the day chosen by Pres. Trump for his big rally in Tulsa at the Bank of Oklahoma Center. Some 19,000 supporters are expected to attend what has been dubbed a “superspreader” event by health officials. Ticket holders had to sign waivers absolving Trump and BOK of liability if they contract COVID-19 at the arena, although lawyers have said they doubt the waivers would hold up in court.

Temperature checks, hand sanitizer, and masks will be provided, although there will be no requirement to wear the masks. Furthermore, there will be no social distancing enforced; Trump has stated his opposition to empty seats because they don’t look good.

Why, one wonders, did the arena and the city agree to host such an event? Oklahoma is still trying to control the virus, and Tulsa has seen two record upticks in its number of cases just this week. Given Trump’s refusal to wear a mask — because it might make him look weak — and the likelihood that most of his supporters will follow his example, Tulsa’s hospitals could be facing a big influx of COVID cases.

Trump, of course, won’t stick around for the aftermath. But maybe he’ll take a little viral souvenir with him. That would be poetic justice.

Oklahoma is a very Republican state, but for Tulsa, this may have been a decision based on economics. Or maybe, once again, someone simply knuckled under to a request/demand from the President. Either way, it’s pathetic. People’s health and lives are more important than dollars and egos.

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