- Trump 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement Friday that the president will cease holding in-person campaign events.
- The announcement came the same day the White House announced President Donald Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus.
- For months, the Trump campaign has gone against the advice of health officials and continued to host large in-person rallies.
- The decision to stop holding in-person events comes just days after President Donald Trump criticized rival Joe Biden for his smaller campaign events.
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President Donald Trump will no longer host in-person events ahead of the November election, his campaign manager said Friday in a statement.
The decision marks a sharp pivot from what has been Trump’s normal in-person campaign style for months, during which supporters often showed up to rallies held across the country without masks. Trump announced early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus. Trump has since been transferred to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, just outside of Washington, DC
“All previously announced campaign events involving the president’s participation are in the process of being moved to virtual events or are being temporarily postponed,” said campaign manager Bill Stepien, who tested positive as well.
“In addition, previously announced events involving members of the First Family are also being temporarily postponed,” the statement continued. “All other campaign events will be considered on a case-by-case basis and we will make any relevant announcements in the days ahead.”
Vice President Mike Pence, who has tested negative for the coronavirus, will continue hosting in-person campaign events, Stepien added.
Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says “large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area” create the highest risk for contracting and spreading the coronavirus.
Just last week, Trump during the first presidential debate tried to justify hosting these large in-person campaign rallies, which he said attract “35,000, 40,000” people.
“People want to hear what I have to say,” Trump said when asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace why he continues to hold large campaign events that go against the advice of his own health experts.
“So far, we have had no problem whatsoever,” he said.
Trump also criticized Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s smaller campaign events, saying that the former vice president would host large rallies if he could attract tens of thousands of people as well.