The Phoenix Police Department and the mayor’s office say that they will not enforce the city’s mandatory mask order at President Trump's event today — despite reports of non-compliance among attendees.
The event, which is being held at The Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona, will feature the President speaking to members of a student group. CNN’s Ryan Nobles, who is at the event, reported that few attendees are wearing masks and that social distancing is not being practiced. He said there were no temperature checks at the entry points today.
In responses to these reports, Phoenix police told CNN that they will “continue to lead with education.”
“We will remind everyone at the event, including officers, the importance of the mayor and City Council’s order, as well as Maricopa County’s order, in helping stop the spread,” said police spokesperson Ann Justus.
Mayor Kate Gallego said in a statement released yesterday that officials had “contacted both the church and presidential campaign staff to alert them to the city's masking policy." But she noted that “the goal of this policy is not to hand out citations.”
“While I do not believe an event of this magnitude can be held safely, particularly as Arizona sees rising Covid cases, the President has decided to continue with this rally,” Gallego said in the statement.
She also noted that church “has indicated that they will be handing out masks to eventgoers and taking temperatures upon check-in.”
Some background: Arizona has reported record high numbers of both new daily cases and deaths today and has seen a sharp rise on Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks.