With just over a month to go until Election Day, President Donald Trump had recently kicked his re-election campaign into high gear with a number of large rallies across the U.S.
Even before his recent coronavirus diagnosis, however, one rally set for Saturday in La Crosse, Wisconsin, was canceled and relocated across the state to Janesville, as reported by Bloomberg News on Thursday.
“Opted not to host the event”
Local officials in La Crosse expressed opposition to the planned rally, which was initially expected to be held at an area airport.
Citing a recent surge in COVID-19 infections, Democratic Party leaders argued that a large gathering could spark further community spread of the virus. Trump had also been scheduled to hold a similar rally at an airport hangar in Green Bay on Saturday.
As for the official cause for the change of venue from La Cross to Janesville, the Associated Press reported that a legal dispute over provisions of a lease agreement at the airport was a factor. As airport director Ian Turner explained, the agreement with Colgan Air Services prohibits political events or rallies.
“The tenant was notified of this, disagreed with the City of La Crosse’s position, but opted not to host the event,” he said, according to the AP.
A few weeks ago, a similar scenario played out ahead of a planned rally in Nevada. In that case, the Trump campaign was compelled to shift the location at the last minute, ostensibly over concerns that the event would violate a state prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people.
Given the bombshell revelation that Trump, among others close to the White House, tested positive for the coronavirus, all of his upcoming events are now up in the air.
Of course, just because the president is self-isolating does not mean he cannot participate in remote rallies.
According to a statement on Friday by Trump 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien, such virtual events remain a possibility.
“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. In addition, previously announced events involving members of the First Family are also being temporarily postponed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Americans of all political persuasions directing prayers for a full and speedy recovery toward the president as he battles the virus.