President Trump will launch a “Catholics for Trump” coalition in a campaign appearance in Milwaukee next week, his reelection campaign said Wednesday.
The campaign announced the coalition launch event Tuesday evening amid growing questions about the impact of the spread of the coronavirus on political events across the country.
Festivals, conferences and other events have been canceled in cities nationwide in order to prevent more people from contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
While not one of Trump’s traditional rallies, the event is billed as one that will draw Catholics from across the country who support Trump’s reelection. Three individuals have tested positive for the virus in the state of Wisconsin.
The event is scheduled to take place Thursday, March 19, at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. The coalition will be one of several the campaign has launched as it looks to court specific voting groups; the campaign has also introduced “Evangelicals for Trump,” “Black Voices for Trump” and “Veterans for Trump,” for example.
Trump has signaled he intends to keep holding political rallies despite concerns about the spread of the virus. The campaign, which often waits until close to an event to announce it, does not currently have any rallies scheduled in the foreseeable future.
Earlier Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidates former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) both canceled planned rallies in Cleveland, citing advice from public officials. Hours later, the Democratic National Committee said there would be no live audience permitted for Sunday’s debate in Arizona as a result of the virus.
Asked whether Trump would continue to hold large-scale political rallies during a Tuesday evening briefing at the White House, Vice President Pence said the decision would be made “on a day-to-day basis” but deferred to the campaign.
“I think that’ll be a decision that’s made literally on a day-to-day basis,” Pence told reporters in the White House briefing room. “I’m very confident that the campaign will take the very best information and make the very best decision going forward.”
A day prior, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tiptoed around a similar question about rallies, saying it would be a “judgment call” to hold a rally in place that has seen the virus spread within the community.
“If you want to talk about large gatherings in a place where you have a community spread, I think that’s a judgment call, and if someone decides they will cancel it I wouldn’t publicly criticize them,” Fauci told reporters.