Trump expected to visit California to review wildfire destruction

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President Trump is expected to visit California on Monday of this week, following weeks of wildfires ravaging the Golden State on top of months of COVID-19 lockdowns and protests over police brutality. The trip will continue the campaign’s efforts to reach voters in the West, after events being held in both Nevada and Arizona already. The move also comes after criticism of a lack of public outreach or mention by the President regarding the forest fires. 

The President is expected to meet with local officials at McClellan Park, California, a site most notable for its frequent firefighter operations. However, his campaign has not scheduled any campaign events within California and is merely expected to travel for that meeting.

After a month of silence, President Trump finally released a statement on Twitter, thanking firefighters for their efforts to quell the fires in California, Oregon, and Washington State, as well as mentioning his approval of “37 Stafford Act Declarations, including Fire Management Grants to support their brave work. We are with them all the way!”. Although the President has been eerily silent on the issue on social media, he has apparently been in considerable talks with the governors of both California and Oregon. According to White House spokesperson Judd Deere, the President and Federal Emergency Management Agency have been in touch with Governor Newsom, and other state officials, since mid-August. In a news conference Friday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown recalled President Trump notifying her Thursday, stating how she has the support of the President and his team and “God Bless Oregon.”

Critics of the president point out how he has yet to address the countless residents who were forced to flee their homes and possessions during mandatory evacuations, especially during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. 

During his trip to California, the President is expected to make remarks over both the devastation caused within the state from the disastrous wildfires, as well as recent outrage over the killing of two L.A. County sheriff deputies on Saturday. He has already voiced his concerns with the issue on Twitter, calling the perpetrator an “Animal that must be hit hard!”