Green Bay trip canceled as Trumps quarantine with COVID-19
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the campaign to cancel Saturday’s visit to Green Bay and Janesville.
The president is under quarantine at the White House, meaning he cannot travel. Trump was set to hold a Make America Great campaign rally at Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay Saturday.
The Trump campaign released a statement saying all previously announced campaign events involving the president are being moved to virtual or postponed.
Temporary flight restrictions that were issued for Green Bay and Janesville have been canceled, according to aviation records.
Jet Air Group posted on Facebook that Marine One had been moved into the hangar for storage.
The campaign says it has postponed a “MAGA meet up” set for Friday in Allouez. People were expected to gather and make signs for the president’s visit.
President Trump tweeted just before midnight that he and Mrs. Trump had tested positive for the virus, which has contributed to the deaths of 206,402 people in the United States.
“We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” Trump said.
The first lady says the couple is quarantining at home. The Trumps are said to have mild symptoms of the virus.
“We are feeling good,” Melania Trump tweeted.
White House Aide Hope Hicks also tested positive for COVID-19.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R) wished the Trumps well in a tweet Friday morning.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) also sent well wishes to the Trumps.
U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) also sent along best wishes to the Trumps.
Prior to the diagnosis, some health care professionals and politicians had asked the president to cancel his trip to Wisconsin. The state is considered one of the hot spots in the nation. On Thursday, Wisconsin confirmed 2,887 new cases of COVID-19, a one-day record. Twenty-two more deaths were recorded.
“Holding rallies in these communities right now would be reckless and irresponsible,” said Dr. Ann Helms, a neurologist in Milwaukee.
Local hospital leaders say COVID-19 is putting on stress on a system not designed for a major outbreak.
“If you look at our two HSHS partnered hospitals, St. Mary’s and St. Vincent’s, they continue to grow in cases. I know our colleagues at other hospitals here in town are also growing in cases. It’s important to understand that total number of cases is layered upon all the other medicine we’re practicing. The trauma accidents that are happening, the car accidents, the heart attacks, the strokes that are happening. And then you add on 90 extra cases, that’s what makes it so tough. Twice, three times a day, we’re meeting to say, ‘Hey, can we take that next patient or do we have to transfer?’ So far we haven’t had to transfer our own patients. But sometimes we can’t take patients from other hospitals right now," said Dr. Ashok Rai, Prevea Health President and CEO.
“For the first time in 17 years that I’ve been here, we’ve had to put patients in hallway beds,” said Bellin Health’s Dr. Paul Casey, director of the emergency department. CLICK HERE for the story.
Governor Tony Evers on Thursday issued an emergency order to allow health care workers from outside the state to work here. The order allows for temporary interstate license reciprocity for health care workers. This means health care providers with a valid and current license or credentials issued by another state may practice in Wisconsin.
“We are seeing alarming trends here in Wisconsin, with today [Thursday] seeing our highest number of new cases in a single day, and yesterday [Wednesday] seeing our highest death count,” said Gov. Evers. “Our hospitals are being stretched to the limit, and we need to take action to assist our frontline medical professionals with their life-saving work.”
CLICK HERE to track COVID-19 in Wisconsin.
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - President Donald Trump moved a planned appearance Saturday from La Crosse to Janesville in western Wisconsin amid calls from La Crosse’s mayor and Wisconsin’s governor, both Democrats, that he not hold a rally amid a surge in coronavirus cases.
Trump’s re-election campaign says the Make America Great Again rally will be at Janesville Regional Airport, about 175 miles from La Crosse, at 3:30 P.M. We’re told the Green Bay rally is still going on as planned.
The director of the La Crosse airport said the event was canceled due to a legal issue, not concerns over the coronavirus.
A political rally violated the terms of a lease with a tenant who planned to host the rally on airport property, airport director Ian Turner said.
“The tenant was notified of this, disagreed with the City of La Crosse’s position, but opted not to host the event,” Turner said in a statement. He did not identify who the tenant was. Trump’s campaign spokeswoman Anna Kelly did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
The first word about the change came from a spokeswoman for La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat. “We have received word that Air Force One is not coming to La Crosse on Saturday, so we are assuming the Trump campaign has changed its plan and is not coming to La Crosse,” Caley Cavadini said Thursday. Kabat had called for Trump to cancel the rally.
Our sister station WMTV reports the Rock County Board of Supervisors issued a statement Thursday afternoon urging the president not to visit Janesville, either. “Rock County is experiencing an unprecedented pandemic that threatens the health of our residents,” County Board Chair Kara Purviance wrote. “It is irresponsible of the President to hold a rally that will put Rock County citizens in danger of contracting and spreading the virus.”
As of Thursday, Rock County had 2,670 reported coronavirus cases and 33 deaths. The state listed the activity level of COVID-19 as “very high.”
Trump made a similar move last month, changing his plans for large airport rallies in Nevada after local officials warned they would violate the state’s ban on gatherings of more than 50 people. There is no statewide limit on gatherings in Wisconsin after Republicans successfully challenged the Democratic governor’s “safer at home” order this spring.
Trump had scheduled two rallies in battleground Wisconsin on Saturday, one in La Crosse and another in Green Bay. Both were scheduled to be held outside at the city’s airports. Both areas have been identified as a “red zone” for community spread of COVID-19 by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
The coronavirus task force report urged social distancing in “red zones” like La Crosse and Brown counties to the “maximum degree possible.” The rallies typically draw many thousands of people, who crowd closely together, shouting and cheering -- the vast majority without masks.
Statewide, Wisconsin is ranked third for per-capita increases in cases over the past two weeks.
The Board asks that if the Trump campaign opts to continue with its planned rally that it follow the county’s guidelines and limit the number of people who would be allowed to attend. It also wants organizers to enforce mask guidelines and social distancing.
La Crosse health officials had urged attendees to follow local guidelines but stopped short of asking Trump not to come. A collaborative of health care organizations in La Crosse, including Gundersen Health System, Mayo Clinic Health System and La Crosse County, recommends that people avoid anyplace where people aren’t wearing masks or physical distancing. They also recommend limiting outdoor gatherings to no more than 100 people.
“Masks and physical distancing should be required,” according to guidance released Wednesday by the health collaborative. “Venues should consider cancelling or rescheduling any large gatherings planned for the next 14 days.”
The president’s visit to Green Bay is still on for Saturday, Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport director Marty Piette told Action 2 News.
Brown County, where Green Bay is located, has had 9,536 cases and 65 deaths. The number of positive cases over the past two weeks was up 24%, according to the state Department of Health Services.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said he hoped Trump would also cancel the Green Bay stop. If Trump holds a rally in Wisconsin he should insist his supporters wear masks and not let them in if they refuse, the governor said.
“He can control this,” Evers said.
Trump held a rally in central Wisconsin on Sept. 18, and health officials have not identified it as the cause of any spike in cases.
Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt defended the president coming to Wisconsin, saying his supporters get energized by his in-person appearances.
“We’re going to take precautions,” Hitt said. “We’re going to make sure we have masks, we’re going to encourage people to wear masks. ... We need to make sure we’re open and tell people, ‘Look if you think you’ve been exposed please do not come.’”
Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.