President Trump is scheduled to host a campaign rally in Tulsa on Saturday, but he's receiving anything but a warm welcome from the local newspaper and the top local health official. In an editorial, the Tulsa World argues that "a mass indoor gathering of people pressed closely together and cheering" is a terrible idea amid the pandemic. The newspaper says its stance is not anti-Trump and would apply to Joe Biden or anyone else planning such an event. "There is no treatment for COVID-19 and no vaccine," write the editors. "It will be our health care system that will have to deal with whatever effects follow." On another point, the editorial notes that Tulsa was the site of a deadly race riot nearly a century ago, making it the "wrong place" for a Trump rally amid the George Floyd unrest.
Meanwhile, the director of the Tulsa City-County Health Department voices a similar sentiment on the coronavirus front in an interview with the Tulsa World. "I think it's an honor for Tulsa to have a sitting president want to come and visit our community, but not during a pandemic," says Dr. Bruce Dart. "I'm concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large, indoor event, and I'm also concerned about our ability to ensure the president stays safe as well." The context to all this worry: On Saturday, state health officials reported 225 new cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma, the highest daily figure yet. (Trump pushed the rally back a day so it wouldn't conflict with Juneteenth.)