Wisconsin 'Catholics for Trump' rally postponed over coronavirus concerns

President Trump's "Catholics for Trump" rally in Wisconsin is being postponed due to coronavirus fears, as the nation grapples with the growing pandemic.

The Trump 2020 event originally planned for March 19 at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee was canceled Wednesday "out of an abundance of caution because of the coronavirus outbreak," Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for the president's reelection campaign, tweeted.

When the rally was announced, the Milwaukee archbishop distanced the Catholic Church from the Trump reelection event, Crux Now reported.

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“The event is not hosted by the Catholic Church nor the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the local church of southeastern Wisconsin,” Archbishop Jerome Listecki said in a statement Wednesday.

Trump won Wisconsin with fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016; an estimated 90,000 Catholics there are not currently registered to vote, FOX 6 reports.

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"We're a somewhat more Catholic state than some of the other states in America and, generally, if you're a politician, you want to grab groups of voters," Mordecai Lee, professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, told the local FOX affiliate. "In other words, you're in the wholesale business. You can't just pick up one voter at a time."

Trump was beating all Democratic presidential hopefuls in head-to-head matchups in the critical state of Wisconsin, according to a February Quinnipiac University Poll, but a Fox News poll in November found that while white Catholics support the president, 55 percent of Catholics overall disapproved.

In Trump's first year in office, two of Pope Francis' closest confidantes penned an article saying they believe conservative Catholics in the United States have formed a coalition with Evangelical Protestants to push Trump’s agenda.

Listecki clarified that he encourages individuals to participate in politics, but said Catholic Church officials are "not endorsing the rally and are in no way affiliated to or sponsoring this event or campaign locally, statewide or nationally."

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"The mission of the Church is religious, not political," he explained. "For reasons that are both theological and legal, the Church’s involvement in public life does not extend to endorsing candidates for election to public office nor calling for their defeat."