The director of the La Crosse airport said the event was canceled due to a legal issue, not concerns over the coronavirus.
A political rally violated the terms of a lease with a tenant who planned to host the rally on airport property, airport director Ian Turner said.
“The tenant was notified of this, disagreed with the City of La Crosse’ position, but opted not to host the event,” Turner said in a statement. He did not identify who the tenant was.
Trump’s campaign spokeswoman Anna Kelly did not immediately return a message seeking comment. The La Crosse rally was still listed on the president’s campaign website as of Thursday afternoon.
Trump made a similar move last month, changing his plans for large airport rallies in Nevada after local officials warned they would violate the state’s ban on gatherings of more than 50 people. There is no statewide limit on gatherings in Wisconsin after Republicans successfully challenged the Democratic governor’s “safer at home” order this spring.
Trump had scheduled two rallies in battleground Wisconsin on Saturday, one in La Crosse and another in Green Bay. Both were scheduled to be held outside at the city’s airports. Both areas have been identified as a “red zone” for community spread of COVID-19 by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
The coronavirus task force report urged social distancing in “red zones” like La Crosse and Brown counties to the “maximum degree possible.” The rallies typically draw many thousands of people, who crowd closely together, shouting and cheering — the vast majority without masks.