Save the Economy vs Save Lives: The Narrative of People’s Responses to Trump’s Lehigh Valley Visit

Written by on May 15, 2020

Save the Economy vs Save Lives: The Narrative of People’s Responses to Trump’s Lehigh Valley Visit

By Tyler Pratt

May 15, 2020

Trump supporters lined the highway yesterday to welcome the President’s visit to the Lehigh Valley. Photo | Tyler Pratt /WLVR

President Donald Trump visited the Lehigh Valley Thursday, May 14, to tour a medical supply company and announce new plans for the Strategic National Stockpile. As WLVR’s Tyler Pratt reports, hundreds of people from across Pennsylvania gathered in Allentown to greet the president and protest his arrival. 

Jen – first name only – and her fiancé, have a cardboard tombstone on top of their car.  They’re part of a so-called mobile cemetery headed to the airport to meet President Trump. She says the caravan represents tens of thousands of people who have died from COVID-19. 

“We want to protest Trump – we don’t believe he has done anything to help with this virus. We don’t feel like he should be greeted with open arms when he is trying to open our state and counties without listening to science.”

A “mobile cemetery” gathers to protest President Trump’s arrival in the Lehigh Valley. Hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds with Allentown/LV elected officials say they don’t want Trump in PA, mad he won’t wear a mask, & call his trip to a medical supply facility a campaign stop. Photos| Tyler Pratt /WLVR

But just a few minutes across town Trump is greeted with open arms. Teri Hoagland and Terri Keeler stand in a sea of people on the road in red white and blue hoping to catch a glimpse of the President. They kiss each other on the cheek.

“We hug, we hang out together, we’re not social distancing. We’re not wearing masks and none of us have gotten sick,” said Hoagland.

The majority of people at the rally don’t have masks. Several say they don’t believe the science on the virus. And almost everyone says they just want to get back to work.

Trump supporters holding signs along the highway where the President’s motorcade drove by. Many of the supporters, in general, did not wear masks. Photo | Staci Inez, PBS39

For more on this story, watch Staci Inez and Chloe Nouvelle’s PBS39 News Tonight Coverage.


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