Trump's New Hampshire rally postponed due to weather

Tropical Storm Fay made landfall along the Jersey Shore on Friday

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump reacts to the crowd as he arrives onstage at his first re-election campaign rally in several months in the midst of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S., June 20, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
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US President Donald Trump's planned campaign rally in New Hampshire on Saturday has been postponed because of an approaching storm, the White House said on Friday.

A White House spokesperson said the event, which was to due to be held outdoors because of the coronavirus pandemic, was being delayed for "a week or two" by a "big storm".

Citing the storm, the Trump campaign’s communications director, Tim Murtaugh, said the rally was being “postponed for safety reasons”.

Tropical Storm Fay made landfall along the Jersey Shore on Friday, prompting flash flood watches throughout the New York metro area. Models from the National Hurricane Centre show the storm is expected to progress through the Northeastern states over the weekend.

The Trump campaign stepped up health and safety measures for the New Hampshire rally, planning the event outdoors and saying they would strongly encourage attendees to wear masks to avoid infection from the coronavirus.

Before the rally was cancelled, officials in New Hampshire had expressed concerns about Mr Trump hosting a large event while coronavirus infections across the US continued to rise at an alarming rate.

The state's Republican governor, Chris Sununu, said he would not attend the rally. "I'm not going to put myself in a crowd of thousands of people," he said. "I try to be extra cautious."

"Any rally coming into a state which has worked so hard to avoid a spike is not a great idea. I am very concerned that people coming to the rally will not take precautions. They will not wear masks, use hand sanitiser or socially distance,” said Valerie Rochon, president of the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce.

President Trump's last campaign rally, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, drew lower-than-expected attendance and was criticised for ignoring coronavirus health guidelines, with attendees not required to wear face masks or social distance.

Those who attended the Tulsa rally last month were told to sign legal waivers indemnifying the President's re-election campaign of responsibility should they contract Covid-19.

Saturday's rally was due to take place at an airport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Mr Trump is facing a re-election battle in November and has been lagging for weeks in the polls behind his Democratic rival, Joe Biden.