What to know about President Trump’s visit to Lansing

Gates open at 11 a.m. for 2 p.m. speech

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MONDAY, Oct. 26 — President Donald Trump will visit Lansing for a campaign rally Tuesday at the Capital Region International Airport, 4100 Capitol City Boulevard.

It will be the second time Trump has visited the state in recent weeks. He held an Oct. 17 campaign rally in Muskegon. 

Here’s what you need to know about the event.

WHEN: Attendees can start filing into the event space at 11 a.m. It is not yet known if other people will be speaking before Trump, who is set to speak at 2 p.m. 

WHERE: The event will be at a hangar on the west side of the airport property, said Spencer Flynn, marketing manager at Capital Region International Airport. 

The audience will be outside of the hangar, Flynn said.  

The main entrance to the airport off of Grand River Avenue will be open to traffic. 

Some roads within the airport complex could be closed, he said. 

Flynn said airport officials are not sure how large the crowd will be. 

“Historically, when President Trump does hold events, there’s a large overflow,” Flynn said. 

The U.S. Secret Service will designate parking space for the rally.

FLIGHT DELAYS?: Exactly when Air Force One and Air Force Two (the vice president’s plane) will arrive is classified information, Flynn said. 

“The Secret Service and the president’s advance team work very hard to not impact general passengers as much as they can on a visit like this,” Flynn said. “I would expect there may be a couple of flight delays but I don’t expect massive issues or a complete shutdown of the airport for the entire day or anything like that.” 

SECURITY: The U.S. Secret Service will be handling all security for the event. 

If needed, officers from the Lansing Police Department along with other law enforcement agencies could be called to assist, said Robert Merritt, public information director for Lansing Police Department, in an email Monday. 

COVID-19: The airport property sits in Clinton County but borders on Ingham County. 

In Clinton County, there are 893 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths, according to the most recently available data from the Mid-Michigan District Health Department which also covers Gratiot and Montcalm counties. 

declined to comment today because of a busy schedule.

There are 4,512 COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths as of Monday in Ingham County, said Linda Vail, Ingham County health officer. At the end of August, the county had about 40 deaths since the pandemic began in March, she said. 

“Those are some serious increases,” Vail said. 

There are 59 confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations of adults and an additional eight adults hospitalized suspected of having the virus in Ingham County as of Monday, she said. The county had 27 emergency department visits related to COVID-19 on Sunday alone. 

“Certainly, it goes against all best practices right now,” Vail said. “If you look at the rallies that have happened recently, a number of states did see a marked increase in cases within two weeks after the president’s rallies. Not all of them did.” 

On Saturday, Michigan set a record for a one-day increase in COVID-19 cases with 3,338 new cases reported that day, along with 35 deaths, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told WXYZ-TV on Sunday that the event could be a “recipe for disaster”. 

She also told Anderson Cooper on CNN last week that the state has been tracking the spread of the virus, but The Detroit News reported that the state has found little evidence Trump’s rallies have been a spreader of the virus. 

The president’s son Eric Trump held a rally in Lansing last week attended by a few hundred people, many of whom were not wearing masks. 

The health officer for the Mid-Michigan District Health Department declined to comment on the rally, claiming a busy schedule.

 PREVIOUS PRESIDENTIAL VISITS: The airport has hosted flights carrying other presidents and vice presidents in the past. 

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a campaign event like a rally at our airport. We’ve had a number of members of their party come for events,” Flynn said. “We’ve been able to host Air Force One and Air Force Two a number of times.” 

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence stopped in February at Lansing’s airport to address the Michigan Farm Bureau while on his way to speak with legislators in Lansing about criminal justice and agricultural issues. 

In Feb. 2014, President Barack Obama and his team flew on Air Force One into the airport on his way to Michigan State University in East Lansing to sign the Agricultural Act of 2014 that provided nearly $1 trillion in farm subsidies and food assistance to benefit rural communities. 

Also, President Bill Clinton flew into the airport on his way to Michigan State University to give the commencement speech to that spring’s graduating class. At that time, it had been 88 years since a sitting U.S. President gave a commencement speech at MSU, according to historical records from the university.

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