Orrington church prepares to host rally with Donald Trump Jr.
The rally was originally scheduled to take place at a Hermon business
ORRINGTON, Maine (WABI) - For the second time in five weeks, Donald Trump Jr. is making a campaign stop in Maine’s Second District.
He’s headlining a Make America Great Again event Thursday night at Calvary Chapel in Orrington.
The church got word Wednesday night the secret service wanted to move the event from a Hermon business.
Assistant Pastor of Calvary Chapel Travis Carey says they are delighted to have the President’s son speak at their church.
Calvary Chapel has been in the headlines during the pandemic. In May, church leaders filed a lawsuit against the governor regarding her COVID-19 restrictions. That lawsuit is still pending in Federal Appeals Court in Boston.
Carey says they have plenty of space at their church to welcome spectators.
Church officials said late Thursday afternoon, they had not received any sort of correspondence from the Governor’s office or state officials regarding safety guidelines for the event.
Carey says, “We are only exercising our right that our governor here in the state of Maine has openly supported concerning some of the riots and protests around the state and even around this nation. We are well aware of that (the state order). We have not set any sort of limit. Of course, we encourage all of our visitors who will be coming tonight to exercise their God-given right to make that decision, but we will not be mandating any masks.”
Carey went on to say the church acknowledges the coronavirus is real but it’s a person’s right to assemble.
Maine DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said during Thursday’s CDC briefing they’ve reminded the church about the state’s COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
“We have shared our guidance on public health in large gatherings with the facility hosting the event. We expect them for the sake of public health to comply but we don’t yet want to speculate on what that event will entail. It is possible and it has been proven true and possible here in Maine that you can hold events, large gatherings safely. We urge them to follow that guidance and hope that they do.”
The event was originally scheduled to take place at Greenway Equipment Sales in Hermon.
Owners Tyler and Mitchell Smith say DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew sent a letter to them Wednesday night.
In the letter Lambrew, “referenced the state’s guidelines for large gatherings and stated that if there was non-compliance with the executive orders and guidelines, the state would take all reasonable and practicable actions to protect the health and safety of Maine people.”
The Smiths say they contacted the Trump campaign and campaign officials made the decision to move the rally.
Trump Jr. appeared in Holden at a rally in September.
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