President Trump to visit Lehigh Valley medical equipment distributor

UPPER MACUNGIE TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- President Donald Trump will visit the Lehigh Valley on Thursday to tour a distribution center of medical and surgical products for healthcare facilities, including personal protective equipment in the fight against the coronavirus.

Trump's visit is to a warehouse of Virginia-based Owens and Minor in Upper Macungie Township. The White House said he will also deliver remarks.

According to a White House official, the president is expected to discuss COVID-19 testing and what he is doing to replenish and bolster the Strategic National Stockpile.

The 137-year-old medical equipment distributor, headquartered in Virginia, has sent millions of N95 masks, surgical gowns, and gloves to hospitals and surgery centers across the country to respond to COVID-19, the official said.

It is Trump's second visit to Pennsylvania this year after appearing a town hall-style event hosted by Fox News at the Scranton Cultural Center in March.

Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes are perhaps this year's premier electoral prize state after Trump's unexpected win in Pennsylvania in 2016 helped pave his way to the White House.

Trump did particularly well in the Allentown area, a politically moderate area where Trump flipped nearby Northampton County into his win column.

The Republican president made five visits to Pennsylvania last year, including two to western Pennsylvania where he talked up the region's booming natural gas industry.

Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by about 44,000 votes, or less than 1 percentage point.

In backing Trump, Pennsylvania went Republican in a presidential contest for the first time since 1988 as part of the Democratic Party's "blue wall" of industrial states that Trump flipped, along with Michigan and Wisconsin.

On Monday, President Trump sent a tweet concerning Pennsylvania and Governor Wolf's stay-at-home order: "The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails."



In a press conference, Governor Wolf fired back after several counties declared themselves in open rebellion against his restrictions on businesses and movement, saying local officials who pronounce themselves open for business will pay a steep price.

"To those politicians who decide to cave in to this coronavirus, they need to understand the consequences of their cowardly act," said Wolf, threatening to withhold state and federal funding to counties "that put us all at risk by operating illegally."

Wolf also warned businesses that choose to "follow the whims of local politicians and ignore the law" by reopening in defiance of the shutdown that they risk businesses licenses, certificates of occupancy and other required governmental approvals to operate.

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CASES

The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed Tuesday 837 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 57,991.

The state reported an increase of 75 new deaths, bringing the statewide total to 3,806 deaths in Pennsylvania.

There are 237,989 patients who have tested negative to date.

Of the patients who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:
- Nearly 1% are aged 0-4;
- Nearly 1% are aged 5-12;
- 1% are aged 13-18;
- Nearly 6% are aged 19-24;
- Nearly 37% are aged 25-49;
- 26% are aged 50-64; and
- 28% are aged 65 or older.

Officials said most of the patients hospitalized are aged 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 12,130 resident cases of COVID-19, and 1,724 cases among employees, for a total of 13,854 at 540 distinct facilities in 44 counties.

Out of the total deaths, 2,611 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities.

Approximately 3,923 of the total cases are in health care workers.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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