Phoenix Mayor Gallego: Mask policy won’t be enforced at Trump event
PHOENIX — Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said on Sunday that the city’s policy requiring face masks to be worn in public will not be enforced during President Donald Trump’s upcoming event at a Valley megachurch.
“We are not going to be focused on enforcement during the rally,” Gallego said during an appearance on CNN.
She added that she is hopeful Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey — who will attend the event — will take the opportunity to set an example regarding mask usage.
“We would hope that our governor … can send a strong message,” she said.
“He believes in masks and he could be a great spokesman for telling the young people who are there to wear masks. But the best spokesman would be the president — if he told everyone at that rally it was important to wear masks, I believe they would do it.”
In a statement Monday, Gallego challenged Trump to wear a mask at the event. She also reinforced that the city doesn’t intend to hand out citations, but will rather make a push on mask education.
“We’ve seen tremendous compliance with the mask ordinance that went into effect this weekend,” Gallego said.
“Everyone attending tomorrow’s event, particularly any elected official, should set an example to residents by wearing a mask. This includes the President.”
By a 7-2 vote, the Phoenix City Council issued a declaration Friday requiring those within city limits to wear a face covering when they are in public to curb further spreading of the coronavirus.
Gallego also asked Trump to reconsider whether the scheduled event is appropriate given Arizona’s current surge in confirmed coronavirus cases.
The event is scheduled for June 23 at Dream City’s auditorium on Cave Creek Road north of Thunderbird Road. A person who answered the church’s phone Friday told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the venue has 3,000 seats.
1/3 of AZ’s #COVID cases came in last week. Every new case is someone’s loved one—we must not become desensitized. Elected officials should send the strongest message possible, in both their words and actions, that our fight against this virus is not over. #MaskUpAZ @CNNSitRoom pic.twitter.com/evhwDI7HO8
— Mayor Kate Gallego (@MayorGallego) June 21, 2020
The convention starts at 1:30 p.m. and concludes after Trump’s appearance, which is expected to begin at 3:40 p.m., according to a Students for Trump spokesperson.
Students for Trump is a project of Turning Point Action, which is a sister group to Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA organization.
Prior to his appearance at the church, Trump will spend time in Yuma to survey the border wall and take part in a roundtable discussion with the local leaders and community members on border security.