Judge rules Trump's 'substantial, imminent, and deadly risk' of a Tulsa rally can go ahead

Judge rules Trump's 'substantial, imminent, and deadly risk' of a Tulsa rally can go ahead
President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a "Keep America Great" rally at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona. Credit: Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump’s big return to campaign rallies can go ahead, a Tulsa judge said Tuesday in rejecting a bid by Tulsa residents and business owners to block the event as a coronavirus risk. The lawsuit described the plans for an indoor rally in the 19,000-seat BOK Center as “a substantial, imminent, and deadly risk to the community.”


Charles Brewster, the attorney who filed the suit, said: “Over the last several days, we were hoping this lawsuit would not be necessary, that the people putting the rally on would listen to reason and understand that such a collection of people in such tight quarters would result in a ‘super spreader event.’” But obviously the Trump campaign is not going to listen to reason, and the venue management’s position is that “government officials have advised that the campaign rally as planned is consistent with the guidance.” Sure, if “the guidance” is wildly irresponsible.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum is trying to distance himself from the event without actually doing anything to stop it.

“Do I share anxiety about having a full house at the BOK Center? Of course. As someone who is cautious by nature, I don’t like to be the first to try anything. I would have loved some other city to have proven the safety of such an event already,” he said in a statement.

Tulsa World editorial called this “the wrong time” and Tulsa “the wrong place” for a big Trump campaign rally, even after Trump changed the rally's date to not coincide with Juneteenth.

In line with rising COVID-19 across the South, Oklahoma set a new state record for infections on Tuesday. Trying to bolster the case for the rally, Mike Pence recently claimed that “Oklahoma has really been at the forefront of our efforts to slow the spread, and, in a very real sense, they flattened the curve. And today, their hospital capacity is abundant. The number of cases in Oklahoma has declined precipitously.” But, uh, no. In fact, Tuesday’s new record was the third such record in a week’s time: “The one-week average is now higher than it was when the outbreak first peaked,” a local ABC affiliate reported.

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