Pence travels out West to address Air Force Academy graduates

Vice President Pence traveled to Colorado on Saturday to address graduates of the Air Force Academy, a rare trip outside Washington during the coronavirus pandemic.

No spectators, including family, were be allowed at the event, which was already being held six weeks ahead of schedule. Seats for the graduates were separated to comply with federal and state social distancing guidelines.

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“I know we gather at a time of great challenge in our nation,” Pence told the graduates. “While we don’t look like the usual graduation at the Air Force Academy, let me tell you this is an awesome sight. And I wouldn’t be anywhere else but with the 62nd class of the Air Force Academy.”

Pence traveled with Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett and was greeted by Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisColorado governor stands by saying 'you're a selfish bastard' if you refuse to wear a mask Protesters surround Aurora Police precinct after photos emerge of officers mocking Elijah McClain's death Officer involved in taking pictures mocking Elijah McClain resigns MORE (D) and John Raymond, chief of space operations for the Space Force, among others.

Pence’s office told reporters that the vice president’s last trip was on March 7, when he traveled to Florida.

Pence offered the academy's graduates hope that the country would prevail against the coronavirus.

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“Like all of you have done throughout your time here, even in those difficult recent days that have passed, just like you, the American people have risen to the challenge. They, like you, have met this moment with courage, resilience and strength,” he said.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpProgressive group launches M pro-Biden ad buy targeting young voters Ilhan Omar: GOP response to calls for police reform 'was vicious' White House considers sweeping travel ban on members, families of the Chinese Communist Party: report MORE also announced Friday that he will travel to West Point, N.Y., to speak at the U.S. Military Academy for its May 23 ceremony.

"I understand they’ll have distancing," Trump said. "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. And eventually, next year, they’ll have a commencement like it’s been."

The White House has issued guidance urging Americans to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people, limit nonessential travel, and maintain a distance of six feet or more to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Updated 2:27 p.m.