As Trump urges caution amid coronavirus, his campaign, RNC to hold nearly 500 events next week

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump may be skipping campaign events temporarily amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, but his robust reelection campaign is charging forward, with plans to hold nearly 500 events across the country starting Friday.

Trump’s behemoth ground operation, a joint effort between the Republican National Committee and the campaign named Trump Victory, has a planned “national week of training,” with events across the U.S., including in states that have declared a state of emergency — such as Florida and Colorado.

As of Thursday, the slew of events are moving forward as planned, two Republican sources tell ABC News. The campaign and RNC did not return ABC News’ request for comment regarding the status of the events.

The official Trump campaign account has promoted the upcoming nationwide events on Twitter as recently as Wednesday.

Between March 13-19, Trump Victory has around 470 events stretched across dozens of states as the campaign turns toward the general election and ramps up its ground game effort.

The majority of the events are Trump Victory Leadership Trainings, which can usually feature between upwards of 100-200 people — sometimes much larger — and are volunteer training sessions specific to each state.

However, the Trump campaign also has other in-person events scheduled including door-knockings, phone banking meetups and “[Make America Great Again] meetups,” which are small gatherings of Trump supporters usually to watch a debate or event.

The mass-scale Trump campaign ground effort comes as the president addressed the nation Wednesday night warning “older Americans should also avoid nonessential travel in crowded areas.”

Members of the president’s own coronavirus task force, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have advised Americans to pause large gatherings.

“The bottom line: It is going to get worse,” Fauci told lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday. “We would recommend that there not be large crowds.”

He added, “If that means not having any people in the audience where the NBA plays, so be it. But as a public health official, anything that has large crowds is something that would give a risk to spread.”

It’s not immediately clear how many people will attend each of the nearly 500 scheduled campaign events, and the campaign declined to comment on if any precautions will be taken.

In some areas were events are scheduled, states have banned large gatherings, including Ohio, where Gov. Mike DeWine announced a ban on gatherings of 100 or more people.

Amid the growing pandemic, the president made major changes to his travel schedule. He canceled plan tip out west including a fundraiser in Colorado with Sen. Corey Gardner.

Trump also postponed a recently announced “Catholics for Trump” kick off event he was set to attend next week in Milwaukee.

However, the president said on Thursday his next campaign rally in Tampa, Florida on March 29th may still be held, but added “we’ll probably not do it.”

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