PORTSMOUTH — Tropical Storm Fay claimed its first political casualty Friday as President Donald Trump decided to postpone his 2020 campaign rally set for Saturday night at Pease International Tradeport.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters aboard Air Force One headed for Florida just before noon Friday that the rally at Pease will take place in the next week or two.
The storm that’s been moving up the East Coast has been forecast to come offshore and move inland into western New England Friday night into Saturday morning.
The National Weather Service has reported that parts of New Hampshire could receive heavy downpours.
The Weather Channel Friday afternoon predicted there was a 60% chance of rain Saturday evening in Exeter, which is about 20 miles inland from Portsmouth.
Democrat leaders had criticized Trump’s visit, warning that the visit could put at risk the state’s current strong showing of having the novel coronavirus under control.
Though deaths continue to keep occurring in long-term settings, the positive test rate for COVID-19 in the state has run at or below 2% and the total hospitalizations now of about two dozen people are the lowest since the pandemic began.
Gov. Chris Sununu had advised that it was “imperative” for all rally goers to wear cloth face coverings, but he declined calls from his critics to issue a mandate.
Sununu said he has dealt with all these large gatherings the same way and there was no evidence that big protests in support of social justice last month led to any spike in COVID-19 here.
A new date for the rally has not been set.