On Saturday 20 June 2020 the Trump Campaign will hold a mass rally in an indoor arena to the capacity crowd of 19,000 at the Bank of Oklahoma (BOK) Center, downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma. This is done at the time when the COVID-19 pandemic is still surging in the country, making the US the country worst hit in the world. Many states reopened too soon, risking a recurrence of the pandemic beyond control. To make the matter worse, many people claim their right and freedom to not wearing masks nor following guidelines issued by local and federal health authorities. Other than the Trump's supporters or "his base", these proud and arrogant people who cherish personal freedom and equality include the White House staff, the Trump Campaign organisation, and Donald Trump himself. They will be at the BOK Center in full force. Rally attendees will be given masks at the entrances, but are not likely to wear them. Trump himself will definitely not wear it as he feels it will make him look weak.
Scientific studies have long confirmed that wearing masks helps reduce, if not stop, the spreading of the deadly COVID-19, especially among people at large social gathering. People who feel normal and healthy may unknowingly have the virus. They are asymptomatic type of patient. Some may be pre-symptomatic, meaning that the virus symptom will not immediately show until after a few days. By not wearing masks these people can spread the virus to others nearby who may or may not wear masks. Wearing mask will help protect everyone. Unfortunately, the people in Tulsa attending the Trump rally will most likely spread the virus as well as contracting it themselves. There will be a large number of people getting the virus from the event and then return home, get sick, spread the virus to family members who will in turn get sick too. A number of people will be hospitalised, treated, recovered. Some will die if treatments are not successful.
The Trump Campaign understands full well the consequences of not abiding by the CDC social-distancing guidelines, therefore, requires all event attendees to sign a waiver relinquishing their right to sue the organiser for COVID-19 health-related damages.
Risk your life for him!
By WHO definition, this is a super spreader.
Some local business and civil groups in Tulsa unsuccessfully appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court in a law suit to force the Trump Campaign's compliance with the CDC guidelines. This may spark a protest outside BOK Center on Saturday. One day before the Tulsa rally Donald Trump tweeted the following threat:
"Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!"
Harsh words and such profanity from the president of United States! He promised the use of force against the demonstrators who only want to exercise their First Amendment rights to peaceful demonstration: "the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances".
Trump has no stomach for freedom of expression, no love for the protesters, and open dislike for the peaceful demonstration successfully managed in Democratic cities like New York, Seattle, and Minneapolis. He promised harsh treatment against protesters in Tulsa.
When the looting starts, you know what will start too.
How low can a life be for that occupant of the White House!
The Washington Post reported on 20 June that as of Friday 19 June, Tulsa County had 2,070 COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths, and Oklahoma had at the total of 9,706 cases and 367 deaths. On the following day the paper reported that six members of Trump's advance team tested positive of COVID-19. On the eve of the Tulsa rally CNN summarised the following COVID-19 figures for Oklahoma:
● Tulsa County: at least 772 current active cases in Tulsa, and approximately 66 people have died.
● Oklahoma- statewide: at least 10,037 cases, 331 new cases 24 hours before the Tulsa event, and a total of 368 deaths.
Unavoidably, some of the 20,000 people at the Tulsa rally will get sick and some may die. Public health officials must trace to keep track of the people who attend the Trump rally. This can be done easily as all attendees had to pre-register for tickets into the BOK Center. If all event attendees' are traced we will know within three weeks who lives, who gets sick, and who dies from the Tulsa super spreader. Perhaps death can be prevented by tracing and prompt intervention. It will serve as a more forceful lesson for the general population, and an effective warning to those who do not believe in science.
Donald Trump will surely not get the virus because he is tested everyday. And his staff will not allow it to happen. He will probably live on for a few more years and die in old age. Everybody dies. It is the fact of life. A scientific fact.
I wonder if Donald Trump will die a happy man.
He probably will.
In his short life of 70 plus years on earth, he has done everything possible for himself.
He has succeeded in fooling half the population, his poorly-educated Americans, into electing him a president.
He has proved to the world that the greatest democracy on earth can be fooled into electing a real bad man.
The world may be laughing. I am not.
I CAN'T BREATHE!
TIME UPDATE on COVID-19 cases three weeks later in Oklahoma:
Headline: Three Weeks After Trump's Tulsa Rally, Oklahoma Reports Record High COVID-19 Numbers
Oklahoma health officials reported record number of COVID-19 cases in the state this week, three weeks after President Donald Trump held a controversial rally in Tulsa, Okla., on June 20.
On Saturday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reported 687 new COVID-19 cases had been confirmed in the last 24 hours. It was the second highest increase only coming after Tuesday’s 858 confirmed cases, per the Oklahoman. As of Saturday afternoon ET, Oklahoma had at least 19,779 confirmed cases of the virus, according to OSDH.
According to a reporter for local news channel KOCO 5, the seven-day average of COVID-19 cases is nearly six times what it was in early April. Officials also reported five new COVID-19 related deaths on Saturday. There have been at least 421 confirmed deaths in total from the virus in the state, according to OSDH.
CNN UPDATE 15/07/2020: CNN reported on 15 July 2020 that Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt had announced he has tested positive for COVID-19. Since there is no systematic tracing it is not sure if he goy the virus from Trump's Tulsa rally.
20 June 2020 (US/CT) / 21 June 2020 (Morning Bangkok Time)
Watching CNN reporting live from Tulsa, Oklahoma, I feel scientifically disappointed and politically sad to see people who do not believe in science and politically blind filing into the Bank of Oklahoma Center (BOK) Center for an opportunity of a lifetime to see and hear their dearly beloved leader Donald Trump, who does not believe in science either. To them the COVID-19 pandemic is a hoax. It'll go away like a miracle. In fact, it should have gone away three months ago when Trump said so. But the COVOD-19 is still around and with increasing intensity.
People who wear facial masks are Trump haters, said Trump himself. And here in the BOK Center almost all people do not wear masks. And Trump himself promised not to wear one either. For the great Donald Trump who avoided military draft by faking a bone spur, facing the virus with bear face is a sign of strength. Of course, the new corona virus will not face human face-to-face. They just fly in through the human breathing intake like a miracle. Once inside the body, the virus live well and multiply. They are deadly. They kill.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), worldwide as of 20 June 2020, COVID-19 already infected 8,525,042 people (2,172,212 in the US), killed 456,973 (118,205 in the US). The numbers keep rising.
I hope only hardcore Trump lovers will attend the Tulsa Trump campaign rally event. I hope the arena will not be filled to capacity of about 20,000. Only those who love him enough, are willing to fall sick and die for him, should attend the rally. From the way it looked on CNN two hours before the event the BOK Center remained half empty. That is good news for public health.
The Tulsa Trump campaign rally is an event of a life time for Trump's "poorly-educated Americans". It is an event of life, sickness, and death.
The people of Oklahoma must display their science literacy and follow scientific common sense, both health science and political science. They must prove to themselves that they are not Trump's 'poorly-educated' base, as Trump always sees in them.
I hope the people of Oklahoma will stay homes and cheer their president on TV. If you still love him, in sickness or health, for richer or poorer, you can vote for him comes November 2020.
Finally, comforting news. The crowd at the BOK Center was not at full capacity. Many sections saw empty seats. Local fire marshall reported the figure of 6,200 (ref.CNN). The Trump campaign disputed the number and gave their version at over 10,000, while the Washington Post's rough estimate is at 1/3 empty ( from 19,000 total capacity, about 12,000 showed up. and 7,000 missing. Donald Trump was disappointed and blamed it on the media report of the coming protests by, in Trump's own words, "thugs", "anarchists", "agitators","looters", and "lowlives". Trump's promise to deal with the protesters with measures different from those seen in New York, Seattle, and Minneapolis. Trump's harsh words implied a prediction of a bloody scene at the BOK Center. And no-one in their right minds would enjoy participating in such risky affairs. There were indeed some protesters in the vicinity but in moderate numbers. They were peaceful. No-ones tried to prevent Trump's supporters from entering the arena. No serious incidents was reported. It was all a normal and peaceful demonstration like those in New York, Seattle, and Minneapolis.
As in the 1970 movie "Suppose They Gave A War And Nobody Came", Trump gave a war and nobody came.
His war dance did not materialise. Tulsa did not want Trump's campaign event to be turned into a second Black Wall Street.
American voters are beginning to realise that their world-renown democracy is slipping away. And they want to do something about it. It is shameful to elect an ignorant bad man a leader of this great nation (on earth - they say). They obviously did not know that this media-popular and rich man from New York would turn out to be so embarrassingly disappointing, to them and in the eyes of the world. Their elected president has turned out to be so inefficient and a bad dream, a comedic character and pathological liar, who constantly displays unending ignorance and stupidity for all the world to see, and laugh at. He treats his supporters as mere poorly-educated subjects who can be leashed and manipulated at will.
It's time democracy in America deserves a better-educated population, politically that is.
In a true democracy a good constitution is not enough. The population must learn the essence of democracy and wisely choose political leaders and representatives who are at least equally well-educated in democracy, if not all the more so. Political leaders must respect wishes of the people. In short, they must respect the will of the people and ensure that the governments they run are 'of the people, by the people, and for the people'. If this basic principle of democracy, as aspired to by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, is not respected, jealously guarded, and vigorously pursued, there is no hope for a true democracy.
It's been 237 years since the Great American Revolution; 244 years since the Declaration of Independence; 185 years since the publication of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, an explanation of American democracy greatly admired all over Europe; and 155 years since the civil war. American history is an open book for all the world to read, let alone Americans themselves. The last chapter of the "Great American Experiment" in democracy should have been written and the great book finally closed, and be read and re-read as a political science classic long ago. But not quite. Democracy in America had come along fine until Donald Trump showed up and spoiled the party. The country once great is now struggling to hold on to the founders' idea while an ignorant bad man runs the country's core value down to the ground.
It is time American people learn to appreciate the value of true democracy again, if America ever want to be 'Great Again'. It is so simple and easy, to me, for America to be truly a great nation. It only needs to be truly a great democracy. And this can be done by just re-reading the constitution and follow each and every word in it.
I wish my country had such simple and powerful document to build society on. I read the US constitution many times, but I don't have a country to practice it with. Since the first experiment in western democracy in 1932 in my country, Thailand, we had used up 20 constitutions, so far. I had a hand writing one myself in 1997. My later generation have written 5 more, and no end in sight. Laying down a good foundation and infrastructure for democracy is one thing. But to successfully practice it is another. I used to look at development of democracy in my country with a sense of hopelessness and despair, and I still do. I don't want to look at the USA with the same sense of loss.
For I love America too much, the people of America must not disappoint me.
They must not disappoint the world.
America still have a good constitution. But it’s been taken for granted. The people and their politicians do not practice it enough.
Democracy is an educational process for each generation of population, in the US or anywhere else in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2019 World democracy Index, there are only 22 full-democracy countries in the world, or about 5.7 of the world population.The rest are 54 flawed democracies, 37 hybrid regimes, and 54 authoritarian regimes. The United States is a flawed democracy ranking 25th after 24th Japan, and 23rd South Korea, in the World Democracy Index 2019. (Thailand ranks 68th and a flawed democracy).
The world's top 22 full democracies are in following order:
1.Norway, 2.Iceland, 3.Sweden, 4.New Zealand, 5.Finland, 6.Ireland, 7.Denmark, 8.Canada, 9.Australia, 10.Switzerland, 11.Netherlands, 12.Luxembourg, 13.Germany. 14.United Kingdom, 15.Uruguay, 16.Austria and Spain (equal scores). 18.Mauritius, 19.Costa Rica, 20.France, 21.Chile, and 22.Portugal.
The flawed democracy list starts with 23.South Korea (24 in 2016), 24.Japan (20 in 2016), 25.USA (21 in 2016),..68.Thailand (100/hybrid regime/in 2016),...ending with 75.Hong Kong and Singapore.
At the bottom-most is North Korea, ranking 167th under the category of authoritarian regime.
[Full 2019 Democracy Index]
In four short years of the Trump's administration, democracy in America slipped down 4 rankings from full to flawed democracy. Previously in 2008 under President George W. Bush, the US ranked 18th as full democracy. And in 2010, it scaled up one position to 17th full democracy under President Obama.
For the first time in the great American history, to borrow Donald Trump's speaks, American democracy was made "Not Great" like never before.
(This article should end here, but I can't help myself continuing...)
"Do you take responsibility for this?, I heard my self asking Donald Trump on my imaginary virtual Zoom interview from the remote jungle of Thailand.
And he answered: "No, I will not take responsible for it. Obama left me an empty shelf. He was not born in the US. He got the Nobel Prize, and I didn't. Why? The Nobel Prize is overrated. I am busy fighting this Kung Flu hoax from the fake news CNN and the failing New York Times. And I could run the West Point ramp had I wanted to. I can drink water from a glass without even using any hand. And (babble, babble, babble)......."
"Enough, Mr. President, cut the crabs!", I told him.*
21-22 June 2020
*Note: I once toured the White House as a journalist from Thailand over thirty years ago. I can still remember sitting in the small White House press room, visiting the nearby Lafayette Park, and St.John's Episcopal Church. In all I visited Washington, D.C. a few times. The memory is still vivid. My confidence for democracy in America never fades.