Mayor Tim Kabat and La Crosse Regional Airport Director Ian Turner confirmed this afternoon that President Donald Trump’s rally scheduled for Saturday is cancelled.
Kabat was on La Crosse Talk PM, as well as La Crosse County Republican Party chair Bill Feehan
Click here to listen.
Trump’s MAGA rally in Green Bay is still going to be held and, now, a Rock County rally is planned in place of La Crosse, despite officials’ request not to hold one there.
Both La Crosse and Green Bay have been identified as a “red zone” for community spread of COVID-19 by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Turner, however, said there was a contract issue with Colgan Air Service holding the rally.
“Our tenant was given notice that holding a political rally was a violation of their lease,” Turner said. “They returned a notice saying they disagreed with that, but opted not to host the event.
“The biggest thing here is that the airport is more than willing and able and capable of the arrival and departure of the president, but this is one of those things that was in a contract,” Turner added.
Kabat was on CNN earlier Thursday discussing Trump’s visit.
“We’re really hoping that we can get this event either canceled or postponed to another time based on what we are experiencing here in La Crosse,” Kabat told CNN’s New Day, adding they were working with the campaign on possible changes.
La Crosse County added 75 cases of COVID-19 Thursday, according to state data. The county also suffered its fifth death from the virus — third in the past week.
“Under normal circumstances, a presidential visit for a community like La Crosse would be an awesome thing and be welcome, but the situation that we’re in of course with the coronavirus really causes us to try to protect the community’s health and safety,” Kabat added on CNN.
Turner, joking Thursday has now felt like the fourth Monday in a row, added that a similar situation happened back in February when Vice President Mike Pence cancelled a La Crosse trip.
“With the visits of VIPs like this, it’s a constant fluid motion,” Turner said, “Heard from air traffic control earlier this afternoon that Air Force One was not coming to La Crosse. Shortly after that, what’s called a temporary flight restriction was cancelled.”
CORRECTION — An earlier version of this story stated the Green Bay rally was cancelled.