I understand President Trump is planning to come to McAllen and Harlingen this week.  

In the middle of a raging pandemic, where some of you recently imposed bar and business closures/restrictions and curfews to keep us safe.   

You know many of his supporters will have rallies and show up where he goes, mostly mask-less, and likely angry, as we have recently seen in D.C. There is no scenario where this ends in a positive fashion, nor is there any real benefit from his visit. 

First, can there be any doubt that more virus will be spread by this hoax-believing MAGA mob? At a time when hospitals are overwhelmed and our front line healthcare workers are exhausted, do you think this is a good idea? I do not, and hope that you will take measures to ask President Trump NOT to come, or take other measures to adequately protect the health of your constituents. 

Second, we are barely just recovering from the shock of the MAGA supporters attack on our Capitol. Is there any doubt that some — not all but still a very significant number — are prone to violence, and likely to attend such events in our own backyard? And do you really think that the respective governments you lead will have the proper resources to deter and stop such violence, more so than in D.C. where they could not? This is a recipe for disaster and any violence — or worse, more bloodshed — will be on your hands.  

I realize he is the President of the United States, and in normal times we would welcome such a visit with great fanfare. But any benefits of a visit from a lame duck President, with less than 11 days before he leaves office, is clearly outweighed by the potential dangers to the health and safety of your constituents. 

Please send a clear message to President Trump and the White House that he should not come to our Valley. If he persists, please ensure that the President, his entourage and his supporters comply with ALL social distancing and meeting limitations you have put on us. 

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by attorney Ric Godinez, a former chairman of the Hidalgo County Democratic Party. The column was originally penned in the form of a letter sent to judges and county commissioners in Hidalgo and Cameron counties, and mayors and city commissioners in McAllen and Harlingen. It appears in the Rio Grande Guardian with the permission of the author.

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