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President Trump cancels trip to Sanford after testing positive for coronavirus

Supporters had already begun arriving for event; rally canceled

SANFORD, Fla. – A large in-person rally planned in Sanford Friday has been canceled after President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump revealed they have coronavirus.

It’s unclear if the in-person campaign stop at the Orlando Sanford International Airport will be rescheduled at any point but teams at the Million Air hangar had been preparing for a large turnout.

Orlando Sanford International Airport officials said the rally would not take place Friday.

[MORE COVERAGE: Trump, first lady test positive for coronavirus | POTUS joins growing list of virus-infected world leaders | Shock, sympathy, mockery: World reacts to Trump infection]

According to Trump’s 2020 campaign website, the president will provide remarks virtually at 7 p.m. but it’s unclear if this will still happen.

The president was also scheduled to hold a rally in Gainesville on Oct. 5. He also had in-person stops planned in Georgia and Arizona for next week.

Trump’s supporters had already begun arriving to claim their spots at the Seminole County rally. John Jochem drove up from the Florida Keys for the event, slept in his car overnight Thursday, and woke to the news of the president’s positive coronavirus test.

“I’m a little disappointed, but he’s the leader of our country. I am more focused on his health,” Jochem said.

Bruce and Tomasa Taylor drove to Sanford from Lakeland after hearing there may have been an alternate event, but when they arrived they found out it was canceled.

“We have hope that everything will be fine and he’s in great hands with the doctors,” Tomasa Taylor said.

Trump’s campaign released a statement that said in part:

“All previously announced campaign events involving the President’s participation are in the process of being moved to virtual or are being temporarily postponed.”

The future of Trump’s campaign is filled with uncertainty and with just a month until election day, Trump supporters said they don’t believe this will impact his reelection.

“I would imagine most people have already made up their mind with what they want to do and who they’re for. Hopefully not, but we’ll see,” Trump supporter Rita, who did not want to share her last name, said.

Seminole County Chairman Jay Zembower said the county expected around 15,000 people.

Even with the Sanford event a no-go, the president has attended several other campaign-related events in recent weeks, including a rally in Jacksonville last week, the first presidential debate this week, and a fundraiser on Thursday.

The president’s positive COVID-19 result came after a White House top aide, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the respiratory illness.

The president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, was in Orlando last week and also had contact with Hicks, as well as her father. It’s unclear if she has been tested for the virus.

Trump was last seen by reporters returning to the White House on Thursday evening and did not appear visibly ill. Trump is 74 years old, putting him at higher risk of serious complications from a virus that has infected more than 7 million people nationwide.

According to the president’s doctor, both Trump and the First Lady are “both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”

The White House medical staff will “maintain a vigilant watch” of the president and first lady in the coming days, according to a White House statement.

Vice President Mike Pence and the Second Lady took a coronavirus test Friday morning and both tested negative, according to the vice president’s press secretary.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Check back for updates on this developing story.


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