Donald Trump

Trump to Hold Outdoor Rally in Portsmouth, NH This Week

The rally comes after controversial appearances in Tulsa and South Dakota and as coronavirus cases continue to spike around the country

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President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold an outdoor rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, later this week, his campaign announced Sunday.

The rally is slated to be held Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Portsmouth International Airport.

The rally comes after controversial appearances in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month and at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota last week and as coronavirus cases continue to spike around the country.

President Donald Trump held a campaign rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday night.

In a release, Hogan Gidley, Trump's campaign press secretary, said attendees would be provided with face masks that they would be "strongly encouraged" to wear.

Gidley, who said there would be "ample access" to hand sanitizer at the rally, added: "We look forward to so many freedom-loving patriots coming to the rally and celebrating America, the greatest country in the history of the world."

The New Hampshire Democratic Party slammed Trump for his response to the pandemic in a statement following the news of the rally in Portsmouth.

"Trump's response to the COVID-19 crisis has been chaotic and woefully inadequate, resulting in thousands of Granite Staters contracting the virus and hundreds of lives lost, while causing significant damage to our state's economy,'' New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said after the rally was announced. "Instead of helping our state safely recover, Trump is flying in for a political rally that will only further highlight the chaos he has caused." 

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White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said last week that Trump may more frequently opt to turn to outdoor venues to host his campaign speeches. Public health officials are cautioning against holding large gatherings as the virus continues to spread throughout much of the country, but they believe outdoor congregations are relatively less risky than indoor gatherings.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu last week announced that visitors from Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island would not have to quarantine for 14 days.

If residents are visiting anywhere other than New England, Sununu said the 14-day quarantine requirement still stands due to the high number of coronavirus cases in other states.

At the foot of Mount Rushmore, Trump on Friday slammed demonstrators who have toppled statues amid calls for racial justice and used the occasion to glorify past heroes.

"Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders," Trump said.

A top Trump campaign fundraiser, Kimberly Guilfoyle, tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the president's speech at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Guilfoyle, who is the girlfriend of Trump's eldest child, Donald Trump Jr., had traveled separately from the president to South Dakota but did not attend the event.

Hours before the event, protesters blocked a road leading to the monument. Authorities worked to move the demonstrators, mostly Native Americans protesting that South Dakota's Black Hills were taken from the Lakota people against treaty agreements.

Former Vice President Joe Biden says he is thankful for Thursday's positive job numbers but says millions of Americans "would still have their jobs if Donald Trump had done his job."

NBC News reported that few in the crowd at an indoor rally in Tulsa on June 20 were wearing masks. Sources told NBC News that members of the coronavirus task force warned the White House about the health risks of holding large-scale indoor campaign rallies.

The U.S. recorded 45,300 new coronavirus infections Saturday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Saturday's figures were lower than the three previous days, but the decrease in cases could be due to reduced reporting on a national holiday.

The U.S. has the most infections and virus-related deaths in the world, with 2.8 million cases and nearly 130,000 dead, according to Johns Hopkins. Experts say the true toll of the pandemic is significantly higher, due to people who died before they were tested and missed mild cases.

The president was narrowly defeated in 2016 in New Hampshire by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Before the pandemic, campaign officials had pointed to the state, in addition to Minnesota and New Mexico, as a place where they saw a chance to expand the electoral map.

The Associated Press contributed to this report
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