On Tuesday, Arlington National Cemetery announced that the annual Wreaths Across America event scheduled for next month would be canceled due to coronavirus concerns. But later in the day, President Donald Trump said he is forcing the event to go on, despite concerns about the coronavirus.
Earlier in the day, organizers said they could “no longer envision a way to safely accommodate the large number of visitors” at the event.
“We did not make this decision lightly. Despite the controls developed to disperse potential crowds in time and space, and required personal safety protocols, we determined that hosting any event of this scale risked compromising our ability to accomplish our core mission of laying veterans and their eligible family members to rest,” stated Karen Durham-Aguilera, Executive Director, Office of Army National Cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery. “We reviewed various options to safely execute this long standing event and held numerous consultations with WAA leadership and local government and public health officials.”
Trump, however, called the decision, “ridiculous” in a tweet.
“I have reversed the ridiculous decision to cancel the Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery. It will now go on!” Trump said.
In an updated statement, the cemetery confirmed that it would hold the event.
The event is slated for December 19.