Opinion | Trump’s Tulsa Rally and Comment About Testing

To the Editor:

Re “Ask Not What Trump Can Do for You” (Opinion, June 16):

I appreciate the sentiments expressed in Michelle Cottle’s incisive piece about the Trump rally in Tulsa planned for Saturday. She writes: “The president is not content simply to endanger the lives of his supporters. He is demanding they sign away their rights for the privilege.” I would add, “The president is allowing his supporters to endanger all of us.”

The spread of the virus will not be confined to those who choose to attend the rally. This is knowingly placing many Americans in harm’s way and will likely lead to additional deaths.

Officials of the city of Tulsa have asked the president to cancel the rally or hold it outdoors. I would urge the city to forbid the use of the indoor venue, or any venue in which the C.D.C. guidelines for social distancing were not enforced, on the basis of public endangerment.

Alison Fulmer
Portland, Ore.

To the Editor:

Re “As Cases Rise, Pence Promotes a Misleading Claim About Testing” (news article, June 16):

What are we to make of President Trump’s pronouncement “If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any”? For the president, ignorance is bliss. In essence, if we do not have the facts, he can believe whatever he wants.

Parents experience this kind of magical thinking in their children as a normal developmental phase that increasingly gives way to facing the challenges of living in reality. This mode of thought severely damages judgment — hence a rally in Oklahoma during a pandemic.

But we should keep in mind that however frightening Mr. Trump’s behavior, it is only because he has the support of people like Mike Pence, who willfully distorts facts to conform to the president’s wishes and in so doing puts people’s lives at risk. This is reprehensible and unconscionable.

Larry S. Sandberg
New York
The writer is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

To the Editor:

So often President Trump does dumb, silly stuff that is easy to ignore. However, having an indoor rally during a pandemic cannot be ignored. My mind is blown that the president is going forward with this rally.

We have seen endless times that this president will do anything for re-election, but this is beyond the pale. People could die as a result of exposure to Covid-19 at this rally. Attendees have to sign a waiver that they cannot sue if they get Covid-19, and masks are not required.

To quote Jerry Stiller: “Serenity now. Serenity now.”

Ron Weintraub
Nyack, N.Y.

To the Editor:

President Trump says, “If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.” November can’t come soon enough.

Ian Thompson
Halifax, Nova Scotia

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