The White House announced on Thursday afternoon that President Donald Trump would not travel as planned to Poland, sending instead Vice President Mike Pence, following reports that Hurricane Dorian is heading toward the United States.
The trip to the Central European country was planned to allow the president to participate in a World War II commemoration ceremony, according to The Washington Post.
But as The Washington Post notes, the cancellation is just the final move in a series of actions the president has taken to seemingly limit his time in the Europe. According to The Washington Post, the president abruptly cancelled the second half of his European trip, which would have seen him travel to Denmark, earlier this month.
Following the cancellation of the second trip, the president seemed to shorten his planned visit further by eliminating a stop at a Polish military base where U.S. and Polish forces fought alongside each other during World War II, per The Washington Post.
ABC News journalist Merideth McGraw took to Twitter on Thursday to share a photo of herself and NBC News producer Freddie Tunnard, who were already in Europe when they found out via the social media platform that the president had cancelled his trip.
Two White House producers when they learn via Twitter that President Trump cancelled his trip to Poland, and they’re already in Europe, and they’ve spent hours planning travel and logistics, etc. ????????♀️????????♀️ cc: @NBCNews’ @FreddieTunnard pic.twitter.com/vZeNlePg6U— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) August 29, 2019
According to the D.C. newspaper, the president and his team had already begun discussing cancelling his trip earlier in the week, according to a source it said was briefed on the discussions.
Per CNN, Hurricane Dorian is heading toward the coast of Florida and is expected to make impact on the southern state early next week. The storm is currently just stronger than a tropical storm as a Category 1 hurricane. But as CNN noted, forecasters are predicting that the storm is expected to strengthen to a Category 4 storm on Sunday, with winds near 130 mph as it nears the Bahamas.
According to CNN, the storm was feared to hit Puerto Rico, which has been unable to make a full recovery following 2017 Hurricanes Irma and Maria that left some 3,000 people dead. The storm shifted course, and according to CNN, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is directing resources that it had sent to Puerto Rico to Florida as the new projected storm path sees Hurricane Dorian making landfall there.
Meanwhile Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has declared a state of emergency for 12 counties in the state that will last for 11 days, beginning today and lasting though September 9, according to the comprehensive CNN report on the upcoming storm. On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also declared a similar state of emergency for counties throughout the state, according to a press release.