White House postpones Spain state visit, cites coronavirus


WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House says it’s postponing an upcoming state visit by Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The visit, including a lavish, black-tie state dinner hosted by President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, had been announced for April 21.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham cited the coronavirus pandemic in announcing the postponement on Wednesday.

“In order for the United States and Spain to continue to devote their full resources and attention to the COVID-19 response, the April 21, 2020, White House State Visit by Their Majesties King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain has been postponed,” Grisham said, using the name for the disease that is caused by the novel coronavirus.

The Trumps look forward to welcoming the royals “in the near future,” Grisham said.

Spain has been on indefinite lockdown as the country struggles to control infections and deaths causes by the coronavirus.

In the U.S., Trump and federal health officials recently advised the public to basically hunker down for a 15-day period, avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people to avoid spreading the virus or becoming infected. Older and health-compromised Americans are encouraged to stay home.

The visit by Spain’s king and queen had been scheduled for the week after the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, which was being planned for April 13.

Earlier this week, the first lady announced that she had canceled the holiday event because of coronavirus concerns.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.


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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Spain’s King Felipe VI arrives to deliver his speech during a ceremony to honor victims of terror attacks in Europe, at the Trocadero in Paris, Wednesday March 11, 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron and King of Spain Felipe VI are paying homage to victims of terrorism in a special ceremony prompted by attacks that hit both their countries and changed Europe’s security posture. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool via AP)