April 29, 2020

Duckworth Condemns Trump’s Plan to Unnecessarily Gather 1,000 Cadets for His West Point Graduation Speech, Raises Concerns with Army Secretary


[WASHINGTON, DC] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee and West Point’s Board of Visitors, condemned Donald Trump’s plan to gather 1,000 cadets for a West Point graduation speech in the midst of the COVID-19 public health crisis and expressed her concerns to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy in a phone call this week.

Trump’s reckless decision to gather 1,000 Cadets at West Point for a speech puts our future military leaders at increased risk—all to stroke his own ego. Our troops need stable, consistent leadership during volatile times like these, not a Commander-in-Chief who values his own photo ops and TV ratings over their health and safety. I urge President Trump to evaluate the potential consequences of this vanity speech and reconsider holding the event.

Senator Duckworth is an Iraq War Veteran and Purple Heart recipient who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years before retiring from military service in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

The West Point Board of Visitors is comprised of presidential appointees and members of Congress who provide independent advice and recommendations about the academy’s morale and discipline, curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs and academic methods.