President Donald Trump is coming to town this week for a campaign rally.

It will be his first since such events were suspended earlier this year because of the COVID-19 shutdown.

We don’t know why he chose Tulsa, but we can’t see any way that his visit will be good for the city.

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. 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 BOK.

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. But there may also be confrontation and inappropriate behavior from some. His 2016 Tulsa rally provoked a heated response for some, and his ability to provoke opponents has only grown since then.

Again, Tulsa will be largely alone in dealing with what happens at a time when the city’s budget resources have already been stretched thin.

There’s no reason to think a Trump appearance in Tulsa will have any effect on November’s election outcome in Tulsa or Oklahoma. It has already concentrated the world’s attention of the fact that Trump will be rallying in a city that 99 years ago was the site of a bloody race massacre.

This is the wrong place for the rally.

When the president of the United States visits your city, it should be exciting. We think a Trump visit will be, but for a lot of the wrong reasons, and we can’t welcome it.


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