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Trump to speak at West Point graduation despite New York coronavirus orders, infections on campus

In a May 26, 2018 photo, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point holds its graduation and commissioning ceremony for the Class of 2018 at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y..

BRYAN ILYANKOFF/U.S. ARMY

By CHRIS SOMMERFELDT | The New York Daily News | Published: June 9, 2020

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NEW YORK (Tribune News Service) — President Donald Trump plans to speak at the West Point Military Academy’s graduation this week, a White House spokesman said Tuesday — though the ceremony flouts Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s social distancing directives and more than a dozen cadets have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Spokesman Judd Deere said Trump’s commencement speech Saturday is about celebrating the “amazing accomplishments” of the roughly 1,000 cadets expected at West Point’s upstate New York campus.

“As the commander-in-chief, President Trump wants to celebrate that and thank them for their service to our country,” Deere wrote in an email.

The West Point event is at odds with Cuomo’s Sunday announcement that capacity for graduations in New York must be limited to 150 people due to the pandemic. The order also doesn’t take effect until June 26, so West Point is bucking the start date too.

However, West Point can skirt state orders since it’s not subject to New York law as a U.S. military facility.

Cuomo’s office declined to comment.

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