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Phoenix Mayor calls on President Donald Trump to wear mask during his visit

Kate-Gallego
Posted at 3:51 PM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 19:29:06-04

PHOENIX — Ahead of President Donald Trump's visit to Arizona on Tuesday, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has a message for the president: set an example and wear a mask.

"While I do not believe an event of this magnitude can be held safely, particularly as Arizona sees rising COVID cases, the president has decided to continue with this rally," Gallego said in a statement released Monday.

The president is expected to visit Yuma on Tuesday morning where he will meet with officials and tour the border wall. He will then travel to Phoenix where he is expected to speak at a "Students for Trump" event at Dream City Church in north Phoenix. Trump will be joined by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, officials confirmed to ABC15.

Arizona has seen a significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases in recent days and weeks, which has prompted concern from local and national health experts and government officials.

In response to the spike, last week, several Valley cities, including Phoenix, passed emergency proclamations requiring people to wear masks while at restaurants, gyms, indoor facilities, and areas where they cannot safely distance themselves from other people.

"We've seen tremendous compliance with the mask ordinance that went into effect this weekend. Everyone attending tomorrow's event, particularly any elected official, should set an example to residents by wearing a mask. This includes the President," Gallego's statement said.

She also said that she has been in contact with the church and the president's campaign staff "to alert them to the city's masking policy."

"The goal of this policy is not to hand out citations but to educate the public on the virus and its transmission. That is why we have started a robust public outreach campaign focused on education. The city has not changed this enforcement policy for tomorrow's event," her statement read.

In an interview Monday morning, President Trump said he is "not worried at all" when it comes to coronavirus cases spiking in Arizona as he plans to visit Arizona.

She said the church has indicated that it would be checking attendees' temperatures and passing out face masks.

In a statement issued Monday on its website, Dream City Church said it installed a new air purification unit ahead of the event. That statement did not discuss taking anyone's temperatures or requiring or passing out masks.

In an earlier statement, the church said it was initially unaware that the president would be speaking at the event. "Dream City’s facility rental does not constitute endorsement of the opinions of its renters," the statement said.

ABC15 will have live, unfiltered coverage of his remarks and time spent in Arizona. Tune in to ABC15 and bookmark this page to watch throughout the day. You can also watch on ABC15 Mobile, our Facebook page, and streaming channels.