White House silent on reason for Trump cancelling weekend golf club trip

'It has nothing to do with that,' White House spokesman says of president's recent travel into Covid-heavy areas

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Friday 26 June 2020 18:08 BST
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The White House has cancelled Donald Trump's planned weekend at his Bedminster golf resort amid New Jersey's request that travellers who have visited states with coronavirus spikes self-quarantine for 14 days.

Mr Trump has recently visited Arizona, which has seen a surge in cases and hospitalisations, and a county in Wisconsin on Thursday that its state government says has a "high" Covid-19 activity level.

White House officials have declined to disclose the reason for why the trip was cancelled just a few hours before the president was scheduled to leave the White House on Marine One.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, along with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced on Wednesday that each state would "invite" travellers entering their states from ones with high numbers of coronavirus cases to self-quarantine for 14 days. Arizona is on that list.

Asked if that is the reason the golf resort weekend was scrubbed, White House spokesman Judd Deere replied, "It has nothing to do with that."

Mr Trump visited Arizona earlier this week amid a spike in Covid-19 cases and deaths there. The state's health department reported a one-day high record of 3,591 cases on Tuesday.

The department also reported 1,795 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday morning, about half the previous day's single-day record of 3,591.

White House aides earlier this week defended the president's travel into Covid-heavy states and counties, saying they adhere to all local safety policies even after nearly 10 campaign staffers contracted the highly contagious virus before Mr Trump's return to the campaign trail last Saturday night with a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma – where cases were surging.

"The president of the United States is not a civilian," Mr Deere said earlier this week. "Anyone who is in close proximity to him, including staff, guests, and press are tested for Covid-19 and confirmed to be negative."

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