Sununu: 'I will always welcome the president'

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 8:10 AM EDT
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New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu says he will not be issuing a mask order for people attending the upcoming Trump rally in the Granite State.

The president is expected to hold an outdoor campaign rally at Portsmouth International Airport Saturday. Thousands of people are likely to attend. Sununu has been questioned about whether he will require people to wear masks at the event. He says like other rallies and protests in New Hampshire, masks have been encouraged but not mandated. He says the Trump rally will be no different.

"Everyone is always treated the same, so to have a mask order for one and not another isn't fair, doesn't make sense. We really push, and I've been very clear over the last 48 hours that we expect folks to wear masks. Masks are going to be handed out at that event. We are going to make sure hand sanitizer is there. We've heard from the Trump campaign that they will be wearing masks themselves, which we are very happy to see," Sununu said.

The governor may not be mandating masks, but city council might.

Some residents say they're concerned about the president's supporters following his lead and forgoing face coverings.

Now, Portsmouth city leaders are considering an ordinance making wearing masks mandatory.

Despite the mask debate, many residents say they're proud the president is visiting.

Sununu says he will likely greet the president, but says he does not plan on attending the rally in order to avoid the large crowd.

The rally comes three weeks after an indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. That gathering was the president's first of the COVID-19 era, and it drew a smaller than expected crowd amid concerns of rising infections in the region.

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