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Trump cancels weekend trip to Bedminster

Texas pauses reopening as virus cases climb
Texas pauses reopening as virus cases climb 03:00

The White House announced a last-minute change to President Trump's travel plans, canceling his weekend trip to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

In a statement early Friday afternoon, the White House issued a one-line statement: "UPDATE: The President will no longer be traveling to Bedminster, NJ." Asked by a pool reporter whether the cancellation was related to New Jersey's COVID-related travel restrictions for those who have been in hotspots recently, White House spokesman Judd Deere said, "It had nothing to do with that."

On Wednesday the White House said that the president would not follow New Jersey's quarantine policy during his trip because he is "not a civilian" and those who come near him are tested to make sure they don't have COVID-19. Travelers to New Jersey, New York and Connecticut from COVID hot spots are being instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. For now, those states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. 

The White House said the order did not apply to Mr. Trump because he "is not a civilian," and because "anyone who is in close proximity to him" is tested for COVID "and confirmed to be negative." The New Jersey governor told CNN that he considers the president to be an essential worker who was therefore exempt from the quarantine order.

While Washington, D.C. is not on the list of high-infection states, Mr. Trump traveled this week to Arizona to check on construction progress on the southern border wall and attend a campaign event at a Phoenix megachurch. Arizona has seen a dramatic rise in COVID cases in June — on Friday, the state reported 3,428 new cases of infection and disclosed that hospital intensive care unit beds are filled to 88% capacity.

With the rapid rise of cases, Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that he had recently spoken to the governors of Arizona, Florida and Texas and will be traveling with Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator, to Texas on Sunday and Arizona on Tuesday, and he'll also be going to Florida on Thursday to be briefed on the response on the ground.

The U.S. reached an all-time daily high of 40,000 COVID cases Friday, surpassing a record set in April. As a result, governors in some states are halting or slowing their reopening efforts. 

Jason Silverstein contributed to this report.

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