Portsmouth, NH city councilor calls for mask requirement ahead of Trump campaign rally

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Donald Trump

President Donald Trump greets visitors as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House during a “Salute to America” event, Saturday, July 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

A member of the Portsmouth, New Hampshire City Council is calling for a mask requirement in the city before President Trump arrives there this coming Saturday for a campaign rally.

Councilor Deaglan McEachern — a Democrat running for the New Hampshire State Senate this fall — wrote on Facebook Sunday night that he’s demanding the council to consider such a requirement before the President arrives. He posted, “(o)ur community’s safety is too important for anything less” than a mask requirement because — according to him — the rally has a chance of undoing the work done throughout the pandemic to contain COVID-19.

The President’s event is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Saturday at Portsmouth International Airport. Tickets are free of charge, but anyone obtaining them is required to agree to not sue the Trump campaign or the airport in the event of a coronavirus infection. Campaign staffers said everyone in attendance will be given a mask and will be strongly encouraged to wear it. They also said there will be ample access to hand sanitizer.

President Trump’s most recent visit to the Granite State was in February, when he held a rally at Southern New Hampshire University Arena in Manchester the day before the New Hampshire primary.

At that rally, he told the assembled crowd, “It looks like by April, you know in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away — I hope that’s true. But we’re doing great in our country. China, I spoke with President Xi, and they’re working very, very hard. And I think it’s going to all work out fine. Rough stuff, I tell you, rough, rough stuff. But I think it’s going to work out good. We only have 11 cases, and they’re all getting better.”

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