WASHINGTON, D.C. – The White House is postponing an upcoming state visit by Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The visit, including a black-tie state dinner to be hosted by President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, had been announced for April 21.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham cited the coronavirus pandemic in announcing the postponement on Wednesday.
She said in a statement that the decision was made so the U.S. and Spain can “continue to devote their full resources and attention'' to responding to the crisis. Grisham said the Trumps look forward to welcoming the royals “in the near future.”
The state visit would have been the third under Trump. French President Emmanuel Macron received the honor in April 2018, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in September 2019.
Spain has been on indefinite lockdown as the country struggles to control infections and deaths caused by the coronavirus.
In the U.S., Trump recently advised Americans to basically hunker down for a 15-day period and avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people. Older and health-compromised Americans are encouraged to stay home.
The visit by Spain's king and queen had been scheduled for the week after the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, which was being planned for April 13.