Trump to Give Commencement to West Point; Pence Delivering Speech to Air Force Academy

April 18, 2020 Updated: April 19, 2020

President Donald Trump said he will give a commencement speech at West Point, a U.S. military academy in New York.

Trump told reporters in Washington Friday that cadets will be spread out to comply with social distancing guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a novel coronavirus that emerged from mainland China last year.

“I understand they’ll have distancing, they’ll have some big distance, so it will be very different than it ever looked. Do I like the look? No, I don’t,” he said.

Eventually, graduations will return to normal, with people “nice and tight,” he added.

Epoch Times Photo
A U.S. Navy graduate celebrates after he received his diploma as President Donald Trump shakes hands with another graduate during a graduation ceremony at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on May 25, 2018. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“I don’t want people to think this is going to be like this forever, but for a period of time we are going to have to keep it that way. That includes baseball games and football games and other things. But eventually, as this virus goes away, it’s going to be better and better and we’re going to get our lives back to the way they were,” Trump said.

Vice President Mike Pence was traveling to Colorado Springs Saturday to deliver remarks at the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation.

No spectators are allowed because of the pandemic.

Pence was slated to give his speech online but it was changed to an in-person commencement on Tuesday. The speech will be live-streamed online starting at 1 p.m. Pacific Time.

Please join us online at 10:30 a.m. (Mountain Time) for the Class of 2020 graduation. The event will be live-streamed on…

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎U.S. Air Force Academy‎‏ في الجمعة، ١٧ أبريل ٢٠٢٠

Officials said the academy will implement social distancing, keeping cadets at appropriate distances from each other. The ceremony will be the first in April, the first on a Saturday, and the first on the terrazzo, weather permitting.

It will also include the first class to commission officers into the U.S. Space Force, an agency created by Trump.

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond are scheduled to attend the ceremony, which will feature 984 senior cadets. Nearly 90 of them will serve in Raymond’s force, according to the academy.

The academy also announced that Air Force Thunderbirds would be “showing their support and appreciation for healthcare workers, first responders, military members, and other essential personnel with a series of community flyovers following our graduation this Saturday.⁣”

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