President Donald Trump announced he would throw out the first pitch at the New York Yankees game on August 15, surprising team officials who had not scheduled the event.
What We Know:
- Shortly before Dr. Anthony Fauci threw out the first pitch for the season opener between the Washington Nationals and Yankees last week, Trump announced that he too had been invited to throw out the first pitch for an upcoming game. Trump told reporters that Randy Levine, the president of the Yankees team, was a great friend of his. “He asked me to throw out the first pitch, and I think I’m doing that on Aug. 15 at Yankee Stadium,” Trump said.
- However, Trump’s announcement came as a surprise to both White House staff, who did not have the event in the president’s schedule, as well as the Yankee officials who said they had not invited Trump to pitch that day.
- White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that she found out about the president’s plans when he announced them at the press conference. “I was not a part of the discussions as to how that’s going to work, in terms of the first pitch,” McEnany said. “I’ve learned about it when you guys did, and he’s very excited to throw it out.”
- Within days, Trump officially canceled on throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the August game, citing a schedule conflict. He said he would not be in New York that day due to his “strong focus” on the coronavirus pandemic, which he referred to with a racist name, but promised to make it later in the season.
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 later in the season!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2020
- Many think Trump’s surprise announcement stems from a jealous rivalry with Fauci as the pair have butted heads in recent months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fauci has acted as the administration’s prominent voice on the pandemic, however to Trump’s dislike, he has often contradicted the president’s more optimistic message, warning Americans to take the pandemic more seriously than Trump suggests.
He really made up throwing out the first pitch. The president of the US made up that he was invited by the Yankees to toss a first pitch bc the country’s leading epidemiologist got to. That’s insane.
— Rae Sanni (@raesanni) July 28, 2020
- Despite Trump’s attempts to discredit Fauci, a poll released earlier this month from Morning Consult and Politico found American voters regard Fauci highly in his handling of the coronavirus response, with 62% of voters saying Fauci’s work was “excellent” or “good”. By contrast, only 36% of voters said Trump was doing an “excellent” or “good” job in handling the pandemic.
It is unclear if President Trump will throw out the first pitch at any Major League Baseball game this season. He has yet to comment on the reports that he made up his own invitation to pitch.