The mayor of Baltimore asked President Donald Trump to cancel a planned visit to the city on Monday to celebrate the U.S. Memorial Day holiday, noting the Maryland city is still under a stay-at-home order to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Trump is planning to visit the Fort McHenry National Monument for the holiday. The city’s mayor, Bernard "Jack" Young, said Trump’s travel would set a poor example for the city’s residents.
“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 he posted on Twitter. “I wish that the president, as our nation’s leader, would set a positive example and not travel during thing holiday weekend.”
He also said the city “simply can’t afford” the local costs of Trump’s trip.
The White House said Trump wouldn’t change plans.
“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,” spokesman Judd Deere said.
Trump has a strained relationship with Baltimore. As part of a feud with the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, Trump has in the past criticized “tremendous corruption” in the city’s leadership, called it “drug-infested” and said its people “are living in hell.”
Cummings, whose district included part of the city, directed several probes of Trump’s administration and contributed to the inquiry that led to the president’s impeachment. He died last year.
In 2017 and 2018, Trump stayed in the Washington area for Memorial Day, making trips to Arlington National Cemetery across the Potomac River in northern Virginia to acknowledge U.S. military sacrifices. He was traveling in Japan on Memorial Day last year and made remarks to military personnel on a U.S. aircraft carrier.
The president has recently increased the pace of his travels as he spurs the country to set aside worries about the coronavirus outbreak and resume a close-to-normal economic and social life.
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