Updated Mar 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump's CDC visit back on after contradicting explanations for cancellation

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump's official Friday schedule omitted a planned visit to CDC headquarters in Atlanta amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, though the trip was later put back on his itinerary — but not before the White House and the president offered contradictory explanations for its initial cancellation.

The state of play: The White House issued a statement on Friday morning that Trump did not "want to interfere with the CDC’s mission," while the president later told reporters that somebody at the CDC was suspected to have the virus but had ultimately tested negative.

  • What the White House said: "The CDC has been proactive and prepared since the very beginning and the president does not want to interfere with the CDC’s mission to protect the health and welfare of their people and the agency."
  • What Trump said: "They thought there was a problem with CDC with somebody who had the virus. It turned out negative, so we’re seeing if we can do it. ... So I may be going. We’re going to see if they can turn it around."

The big picture: The visit is planned to take place between Trump's stops in Nashville, Tenn., where he will tour tornado damage and visit victims, and Florida, where he'll spend the weekend at Mar-a-Lago.

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