Secret Service in Guilford Tuesday ahead of planned Trump visit

Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 4:41 PM EDT
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Plans are moving forward for President Trump to visit Maine later this week.

He's scheduled to be in Guilford Friday.

The plan is for the President to tour Puritan Medical Products.

The company is one of only two suppliers worldwide that produce COVID-19 test swabs.

This news comes as a bit of a surprise to those in town where work was underway Tuesday to prepare for his arrival.

"Having our graduation Friday night and keeping with the DOE directives, we are having a drive-in style graduation so the spectators and parents will be in their vehicles," said MSAD 4 Superintendent Kelly MacFadyen.

Piscataquis Community High School is planning to have its roughly 40 seniors graduate on Friday...At least that was the plan before the announcement that President Trump would be visiting town.

"As a small rural town in Maine we are very proud of what Puritan Medical has been able to do nationally to help with this crisis," added MacFadyen. "That's quite a feat. And something we are proud of. We are certainly supportive of them and understand that we may have to make adjustments again and we are ready to be supportive in that way."

Guilford's Town Manager said she had not heard anything from the White House about the President coming to town to tour Puritan, after the facility was allotted 75 million dollars in federal funding to expand production of COVID-19 test swabs.

While someone from the White House may not have reached out - their presence could be felt in town.

Members of the Secret Service were in Guilford on Tuesday and while they chose not to go on camera they did say that they are part of an advanced scout team and that activities like this are standard protocol ahead of a presidential visit.

Piscataquis County Sheriff Robert Young took to Facebook Tuesday to comment on the president's visit.

The Sherriff wrote in part, "In ordinary times, a Presidential visit to Guilford, Maine would be a great thing, regardless of who the President is. Sadly, at this time, our nation is so full of strife and rancor, that the good nature of his coming is overshadowed by the politics of our time....My hope and intent is for the President to have a good visit with the folks at Hardwood, for the protesters to peacefully make their point, and for the President's supporters to peacefully enjoy the moment."

The sheriff goes on to say they are working closely with Secret Service, State Police, other agencies to provide a safe visit for the President.

He also says they will work to provide safety for those engaged in peaceful protest.

We also asked Guilford residents what they thought about the President coming to town.

"I'm just super excited about it, everybody should be," said Guilford resident Heidi Warren.

"The town is doing a great job keeping up with all the supplies. So I'd say this warrants a visit," added another local woman.

"We are safe up here right now," added a man from Guilford. "There's an epidemic going on and we don't need that."

"I'm excited," said Warren. "I just love President Trump. I think he's doing a wonderful job. This town just deserves so much recognition because of the fact that they're making the tips for COVID-19 kits. I'm just excited. I just love my president right to death."

If the President does visit, this will be his first trip to Maine since taking office.

And back to the school.

The superintendent says if they need to change it, that graduation ceremony will be on Saturday night.