State leaders worried about aftermath of President Trump’s Tulsa rally, Gov. Stitt assures state is prepared

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TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – As President Donald Trump’s Tulsa campaign rally inches closer, mixed messages are coming from state leaders.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum called the visit an honor during a Wednesday press conference.

“The President of the United States picked this city to come and highlight the way we handled the reopening in the right way,” Bynum said.

With 72 hours out from the rally, some health leaders are still pushing for a postponement.

“So many people are over COVID-19, and COVID-19 is not over,” Director of Tulsa City-County Health Department Dr. Bruce Dart said.

The BOK Center is expected to house 20,000 people. Tens of thousands more are expected to be next door in the Cox Convention Center, but Trump says he’s not nervous about a second wave.

“No, I’m not,” Trump said. “Because we know how to put it out.”

Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith shared her concerns with NBC’s Chuck Todd as daily increases of COVID-19 cases continue to be record-breaking.

“We are going to have folks coming in from all areas,” Commissioner Karen Keith said. “We don’t know where they are from. What if they are from a hot spot?”

Wednesday, Democratic House Minority Leader Emily Virgin announced she is calling for federal assistance for the aftermath.

“Once the president leaves, it will be Oklahoma’s responsibility to deal with the fall out of the super spreading event,” Rep. Emily Virgin said.

“The hospital capacity is in really good shape,” Gov. Kevin Stitt said. “We have over 4,600 hospital beds available.”

Preparations are also underway in the historic Greenwood District for Juneteenth celebrations, the annual commemoration of the emancipation of black slaves.

Longtime civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton is expected to headline.

“This event is not here to distract,” local activist Tyrance Billinglsey said. “This event is to draw focus to something that should be at the forefront of all of America’s minds.”

But Stitt and Senator James Lankford announced Wednesday they now are not recommending President Trump to attend the Juneteenth celebrations.

“It could be problematic to have the president to go there,” Stitt said.

Stitt is headed to the White House Thursday, not to talk about the rally, but to speak about reigniting the economy.

Stitt has also activated the 240 Oklahoma National Guard members at the request of the Tulsa Police Department for the rally.

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