BALTIMORE — President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania are scheduled for a Memorial Day visit to Fort McHenry for a ceremony honoring armed forces members who lost their lives in battle.
Larry Hogan's office welcomed news of the President's visit, but said the holiday is also the Governor's birthday so he plans to spend the day with family.
“We are honored that the president and the first lady have chosen to spend Memorial Day at Fort McHenry. Although Marylanders are encouraged not to gather in large numbers this year - now more than ever - it's important to reflect on the American heroes who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Monday is the governor's birthday, and he has plans to mark the day at home with his family.”
Meanwhile, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young wishes the President would cancel his visit, saying it sends the wrong message and will cost money the city doesn't have.
“The City of Baltimore remains under a Stay at Home order that was put in place to help safeguard our residents from the dangers associated with COVID-19. We have worked closely with our health professionals to educate the public about the benefits of social distancing and staying home, unless leaving for an essential reason, like visiting a doctor or picking up groceries," said Young. "That President Trump is deciding to pursue non-essential travel sends the wrong message to our residents, many of whom have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 virus. I wish that the President, as our nation’s leader, would set a positive example and not travel during this holiday weekend," Young continued. "In addition to the President sending a conflicting message to our residents, his visit, requires personnel and equipment, and has a price tag that our City, which is still dealing with the loss of roughly $20 million in revenue per month, simply can’t afford to shoulder. I would hope that the President would change his mind and decide to remain at home. If he decides, however, to move forward with his scheduled trip to Baltimore we will, of course, be prepared for his visit, said Young”
On Monday, Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott sent out a letter agreeing with Mayor Young. Similar to Young, Scott also thinks that President Trump should cancel his trip to Baltimore. However, the City Council President also stated that if President Trump must visit, than he shouldn't come empty handed.
“Respectfully, I request that you not visit Baltimore. However, if you choose to do so, I ask that you consider bringing the following with you: 100,000 tests for COVID-19; $25 million to support Baltimore small businesses impacted by COVID-19; $150 million to help Baltimore close the projected fiscal gap resulting from this pandemic; and $30 million to jump start the build out of Baltimore's municipal broadband network to close the digital divide.”
Fort McHenry is historically known for the War of 1812 that inspired the Francis Scott Key poem that later became the nation's "Star-Spangled Banner."