RI Air Show canceled over coronavirus concerns

Coronavirus
NASCAR Daytona 500 Auto Racing_1531579305688

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform a flyover during the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island National Guard announced Wednesday that this year’s Open House Air Show has been canceled over concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The event was planned for June 20-21, after it was moved a week earlier to accommodate the headliner, the USAF Thunderbirds.

In a statement, Major General Christopher Callahan said the decision “does not come without disappointment,” but was made so the R.I. National Guard can focus its attention on supporting residents’ health and safety during the crisis.

Gov. Gina Raimondo activated the National Guard last week to staff testing and call centers, distribute food and other necessities to vulnerable residents, and train civilian medical personnel.

“Our resources need to be acutely focused on the mitigation of the spread of this virus while remaining ready for our mission as the primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force,” Callahan said. “We thank you for your continued support of our Rhode Island Soldiers and Airmen.”

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