WH Rejects Baltimore Mayor’s Request For Trump To Cancel Visit Amid COVID

Mayor Jack Young attends the RFP award announcement for the Harlem and Edmondson redevelopment on April 30, 2019 in Baltimore, Md. Young assumed the position when Catherine Pugh stepped down Thursday. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/TNS)
Mayor Jack Young attends the RFP award announcement for the Harlem and Edmondson redevelopment on April 30, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
May 22, 2020 10:47 a.m.

The White House on Thursday refused to cancel President Donald Trump’s upcoming Memorial Day visit to the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland, despite Mayor Jack Young’s request.

“The brave men and women who have preserved our freedoms for generations did not stay home and the President will not either as he honors their sacrifice by visiting such a historic landmark in our Nation’s history,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Young had urged Trump to call off the visit and honor Baltimore’s stay-at-home order amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

“That President Trump is deciding to pursue non-essential travel sends the wrong message to our residents, many of whom have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 virus,” Young said in a statement. “I wish that the President, as our nation’s leader, would set a positive example and not travel during this holiday weekend.”

And the implications of Trump’s disregard for Baltimore’s stay-at-home order aren’t the only issue, the mayor pointed out. The President’s visit and the level of security detail required comes with a heavy price tag that the city “simply can’t afford to shoulder.”

“I would hope that the President would change his mind and decide to remain at home,” Young said.

“If he decides, however, to move forward with his scheduled trip to Baltimore we will, of course, be prepared for his visit,” he added.

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