Trump plans air shows around country
President Trump said Wednesday that Thunderbirds and Blue Angels will fly over American cities in coming weeks as part of a tribute to frontline medical workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re paying tribute to our frontline healthcare workers confronting covid, and it’s really a signal to all Americans to remain vigilant during the outbreak,” Trump said during a White House briefing.
“This is a tribute to them, to our warriors, because they’re equal warriors to those incredible pilots, all of the fighters that we have for the more traditional fights that we win.”
Trump said the plan, named Operation America Strong, was an idea that came from military officials.
“The Thunderbird and Blue Angel crews…wanted to show support to the American medical workers, who just like military members in a time of war, are fiercely running toward the fight,” Trump said.
Operation America Strong was first reported by The Washington Post, citing a Pentagon memo and military officials, ahead of Trump’s briefing.
Trump also announced that he’s planning to hold a similar July 4 event he planned last year that featured a military display that cost $2.5 million.
“On July 4 we’ll be doing what we had at the mall, as you know doing it last year was a tremendous success, I would imagine we’ll do it — hopefully I can use the term forever,” Trump said. “It was a great success.”
Asked if it would be safe to have a big gathering on the National Mall on July 4, Trump said “we’re going to probably have 25 percent of what he had last year.”
The federal government’s guidelines recommend avoiding social gatherings of more than 10 people and call for individuals to maximize the distance from others while in public amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Public health experts have warned against crowds in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The White House plan on reopening the economy leaves the decisions on when to lift restrictions up to state leaders, but recommend states and regions see a decline in cases for a period of 14 days.
New York City, the area hardest hit area by the virus in the U.S. this week banned all events through June.
In Washington, D.C., the stay-at-home order is in place until at least May 15.