An Open Letter to Donald Trump

Dear Mr. Trump,

On June 20th, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, along with Vice President Pence, you are scheduled to do a campaign rally. No doubt the idea of thousands of rabid, screaming, white-knuckled fans wearing MAGA hats and waving their Trump/Pence signs in glorious shades of red, white and blue gives you goosebumps and sends chills up and down your spine.

I am concerned, though, that you don’t understand the implications of holding the event during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Tulsa is already experiencing an explosion of such cases, and to schedule a large indoor gathering during this critical juncture has the potential to be a super-spreader event, where just one person can spread the coronavirus in geometric progression to countless others.  Up to this point, our state has been blessed by a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases, especially compared to our southern neighbor Texas.  But your rally has the capability to change all that, much like what happened in New Rochelle, when a single person spawned a nightmare beyond comprehension in nearby New York City and the surrounding area, directly leading to tens of thousands of deaths.

I must confess that your history concerns me.  Your acceptance speech for the Republican nomination for the presidency was moved to Jacksonville because health concerns rightfully expressed by the governor of North Carolina could prevent the wild, narcissistic celebration you desired. I am certain you prefer old-fashioned gatherings where your adoring followers are jammed together like sardines, social distancing be damned.  The promised masks – assuming they are worn – and hand sanitizer will be of some help, but without the cornerstone of social distancing, the protection they give will simply not be enough. Also, while you will be doing temperature checks prior to entry, remember that 25-45% of carriers are asymptomatic. In other words, they are infectious and checking for a fever does not adequately screen them. So, what are you thinking? Could it be that you still believe the coronavirus will go away without the vaccine, in spite of the lack of scientific evidence to support that notion?  Do you think the pandemic will miraculously fade into the background before your event in Tulsa?

This whole scenario reminds me of the old Russian fable called “The Scorpion and the Frog,” and it goes something like this:  A frog was peacefully sunning on the bank of a river, when a scorpion approached her and asked, “Would you carry me across the river on your back?”

The frog looked confused. “Why should I?  If I do, you will sting me, and I will die.”

“Why would I do that?  If I did, we both would die, because I would drown.”

Seeing the wisdom of his words, the frog nodded her tiny green head and allowed the scorpion onto her back.  Midway across the river, the frog felt a sharp pain in the middle of her back. Shocked, she said, “Why did you do that?  Now we both will die!”

As they began to slowly submerge in the water, the scorpion said, “I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help it.  It’s my nature.”

So, Mr. President, what is your nature?

It remains my fervent prayer that you will change your mind and not come to Tulsa, at least for the time being.  As an emergency physician, the health and well-being of my fellow Oklahomans is critically important to me. And I’m not alone. Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Bruce Dart has also expressed the hope that the campaign will push back the date of the rally. Much like New Rochelle, your event could precipitate a health crisis with overrun emergency departments and hospitals like nothing we have ever seen before in our state. 

The primary question is this:  For the short term, are you able to put aside your personal ambitions and desires for the greater good of your fellow Americans? Unfortunately, as evidenced by the time you ordered peaceful protesters tear gassed and forcibly removed from Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., for a photo-op, along with your willingness to endanger those in North Carolina and Florida, you have clearly demonstrated that your nature is to place yourself first, no matter the consequences. Like the scorpion, you don’t seem to be able to help yourself.

Please reconsider your plans and prove me wrong by postponing your trip to Tulsa. If you don’t, it is likely that irreparable harm will result, and while I know you’d like to believe otherwise, you will be at least partially responsible for the pandemonium that follows.


Gary D. Conrad, M.D.

12 comments to An Open Letter to Donald Trump

  • Sharon Clabo

    This is a wonderful letter and I’m planning to share it on Facebook..3 cheers!!

    Sharon Clabo

  • Dr. Conrad has laid bare the pathological narcissism, ego inflation, and utter selfishness of Donald Trump. This is a powerful statement. I hope it goes viral — for all our sake.

    ~ Larry Dossey, MD
    Santa Fe, NM

    • Hi Dr. Dossey!
      Thanks ever so much for your comment. I look forward to the day when the dark, dank shroud of Donald Trump is lifted from our nation and away from our consciousness. At that moment, we will celebrate. Warm regards, Gary

  • Gerald Pettengill

    I’m going to share this too, if you don’t mind.

  • Sue Tarr

    Hi Gary, Thank you for your leadership in this area. I tried to cut and paste Tulsa’s County Health Dept. Director’s quotes that mirror yours into my reply, but they wouldn’t cut and paste, so will send them to you directly and post them on my Facebook Page. It’s time to state the facts clearly and simply like you did.This insanity has to stop.It is killing people.
    Check this link our black spirit son just emailed us today which shows another leader like you speaking clearly:
    Hopefully more people will rise to the occasion.

  • Biju Mathew

    Dear Gary,please accept my appreciations for your concerns about the public safety. Your letter reflects that.

    Best regards,


  • JoDee

    I hope this letter was received by the President, but I am sure that he did not see it. However it is the expression of My feeling regarding the rally.
    there aren’t enough words to say how I really feel about the event or the President. VOTE !!! Jo

    • Hi JoDEE! I suspect that you are right. Trump doesn’t enjoy reading things that he doesn’t agree with. But if he did, I’m certain he would tweet about it. I’m right there with you. VOTE! Warm regards, Gary

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