The White House preferred to postpone the state dinner with the Spanish royals to Washington next month. Despite both King Felipe and Queen Letizia were tested negatively for coronavirus, Spain remains the fourth-most coronavirus-infected nation, after China, Italy and Iran.
Donald Trump and his wife will not have dinner with King Felipe and Queen Letizia on April, 21. The White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement Wednesday morning:
‘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.’
Amid global coronavirus outbreak, Spain has put its country on lockdown as more than 13,000 people have been diagnosed with the pathogen and more than 500 have died. So far, Kingdom is the fourth-most COVID19-infected countries.
Queen Letizia was tested for the virus after coming into contact with a government minister who later tested positive. Her result was negative as was King Felipe’s and Donald Trump. Melania is also healthy but the health authorities insist on postponing the international dinner.
‘President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump look forward to welcoming Their Majesties to the United States and the White House in the near future. The United States will continue to work with Spain and all of our European partners to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,’ Grisham noted in a statement.
So far, the US has had more than 100 deaths from the coronavirus and more than 6,500 people have been infected. The deteriorating situation made President Trump announce a 30-day travel ban on several countries, including Spain. Under current circumstances when Europe became the epicentre for the disease, it looks quite logical.
In fact, the scheduled visit of the Spanish royals planned to become a symbol of two countries’ close friendship and shared history. Instead of reaffirming the American and Spanish commitments to stand together to address today’s global challenges, the dinner was postponed.
For King and Queen of Spain, the American state dinner would have been the second time the Spanish royals visited the Trump White House. The couple stopped by in June of 2018 during an extended visit to America, which was to mark the 300th anniversaries of the founding of New Orleans and San Antonio — two American cities with historical ties to Spain.
Commenting on the 2018 visit to the US, King Felipe said: ‘We appreciate very much our common history and our heritage.’