The White House canceled a planned presidential visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Friday, citing the interference a trip may cause amid a growing coronavirus outbreak.
"The President is no longer traveling to Atlanta today. The CDC has been proactive and prepared since the very beginning and the President does not want to interfere with the CDC's mission to protect the health and welfare of their people and the agency," a White House official said.
The White House announced the CDC visit earlier this week in the wake of intense criticism over the agency's slow diagnostic testing rollout and for defects in some of their early test kits.
Speaking alongside the President earlier this week, Vice President Mike Pence said that President Donald Trump would be visiting the CDC "before the week is out."
And Thursday night, Pence said Trump would sign the newly-passed coronavirus spending legislation during his trip to Atlanta.
"As I mentioned, federal assistance was approved by the United States Senate. President Trump is expected to sign the legislation tomorrow as he visits the CDC in Atlanta," Pence said during a briefing with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
A presidential visit carries with it a big footprint -- numerous Secret Service agents, staffers, and press were expected to attend alongside Trump -- and these sorts of visits require significant resources from local law enforcement that can distract from the work at hand.
But Trump is expected to bring a similar distraction Friday when he travels to Nashville, Tennessee, to survey damage and review recovery efforts after a tornado ripped through the state earlier this week. And earlier in the week, Trump visited the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, to discuss the efforts against the coronavirus.
Later Friday, Trump is expected to travel to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida for campaign fundraisers.