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Editor's Viewpoint

Cancelling White House trip a very sensible move

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Joe Biden. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Joe Biden. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Joe Biden. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Irish politicians, from both sides of the border, have been as common as shamrock in the White House every St Patrick's Day.

It is a chance for them to press the flesh with US politicians with even a passing interest in Irish affairs and to have a word in the ear of whoever is President.

This year the Taoiseach, Micheal Martin has not ruled out a trip to meet new president Joe Biden, but there will be no politicians from Northern Ireland present.

That is a sensible decision by the local parties. Coronavirus is rampant in the US, and while every effort will be made to ensure the safety of visitors to the White House, the optics of making such a trip would be unfavourable.

How could local politicians plead with the public to obey restrictions - presuming they are still in place on March 17 - while glad-handing their way across the Atlantic.

President Biden has made tackling coronavirus a priority and perhaps he will cancel the annual reception to show that he is really serious about containing its spread.

Belfast Telegraph


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