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President Donald Trump backs out of throwing first pitch at NY Yankees game following criticism
Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Donald Trump backs out of throwing first pitch at NY Yankees game following criticism

Busy fighting COVID-19

President Donald Trump on Sunday revealed that he would not be appearing in New York in August to throw out the opening pitch for the New York Yankees.

What are the details?

Trump said he would be unable to throw out the opening pitch due to his "strong focus" on issues of importance such as the COVID-19 pandemic, development of relevant vaccines, and the state of the U.S. economy.

In a tweet, Trump said, "Because of my strong focus on the China Virus, including scheduled meetings on Vaccines, our economy and much else, I won't be able to be in New York to throw out the opening pitch for the @Yankees on August 15th. We will make it there later in the season!"

The president announced on Thursday that he would be attending the Aug. 15 game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

"I think I'm doing that on Aug. 15 at Yankee Stadium," he said during a press briefing. "And I say, 'How's the crowd going to be?' And, you know, it's like you don't have a crowd."

He made the remarks just hours before Dr. Anthony Fauci threw the ceremonial first pitch for the Washington Nationals.

"The key is to get back to normal," Trump added on Thursday. "Nobody wants to see this. I think it is really good that baseball is opening. It looks like football is opening. It looks like sports are opening. It's a tremendous thing psychologically for our country."

Trump's Thursday announcement was met with near-immediate backlash.

On Friday, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz said, "We all deserve better than a careless major league baseball organization that consistently ignores the surrounding community while pandering to an unapologetic white supremacist like Donald Trump."

On Sunday, Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted, "After CONDEMNING racism, the next step isn't inviting it to your pitcher's mound. To the players that knelt for the BLM movement, we applaud you. To the execs that have aligned with hatred, you are on the wrong side of history and morality."

Trump remains to be the first modern U.S. president who has yet to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game.

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