President Trump does not plan to visit the Capitol to honor the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), he told reporters on Monday.
“I won’t be going, no,” Trump said before departing the White House for a trip to North Carolina when asked if he planned to visit the Capitol either Monday or Tuesday to pay his respects to Lewis.
Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence are scheduled to visit the Capitol, where Lewis will lie in state in the rotunda, Monday evening after the vice president returns from a trip to Florida to discuss coronavirus vaccine research.
Lewis’s casket arrived at the Capitol just as Trump was leaving Washington, D.C., for North Carolina.
The casket will be displayed outside at the top of the steps of the Capitol building later Monday so that members of the public can pay their respects while also observing social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic. The outdoor public viewing will be continued during the day on Tuesday.
Lewis emerged as a key figure of the civil rights movement, having survived a brutal beating by Alabama state troopers during the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery that has become known as “Bloody Sunday.” He died at the age of 80 on July 17 after a months-long battle with cancer.
Trump ordered flags at the White House to fly at half-staff in honor of Lewis for part of the day following his death. The president said that day that he was “saddened” to hear the news of Lewis’s death, calling him a civil rights hero in a tweet, but has otherwise said little about his death publicly.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is expected to visit Washington on Monday to pay his respects to Lewis.
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