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Trump will speak at West Point graduation despite coronavirus

West Point Graduation (US Army/Released)

President Donald Trump will be the commencement speaker at West Point this year, the military academy confirmed on Wednesday.

The graduation ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 13, three weeks later than originally scheduled.

Trump said he would be the speaker during his Friday night coronavirus briefing for the Washington press corps.

“I’m doing it at West Point,” CNN quoted Trump as saying Friday. “And I assume they’ll have (social) distancing … It’ll look very different than it has ever looked.”

Cadets in the class of 2020, who have been studying remotely since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will return to campus for graduation. West Point said this year’s ceremony will look different due to current health protection requirements.

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The size and scope of the graduation ceremony will be determined by safety considerations for cadets and the West Point community. West Point said the military academy’s leadership is now conducting a thorough analysis to plan for the safe return of the Corps of Cadets.

Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the Air Force graduation, which was held early this year, on Saturday. Family and friends of graduates were not able to attend.

“We are honored to host the commander in chief as we celebrate the many accomplishments of our graduating class,” said Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams. “The academy looks forward to welcoming the newest cohort of (second) lieutenants into the ranks of the Army Officer Corps.”

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© 2020 The Times Herald-Record