Politics

White House cancels annual Easter Egg Roll due to coronavirus

Key Points
  • The White House canceled its annual Easter Egg Roll because of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The Easter Egg Roll, which is normally held on the South Lawn of the White House had been scheduled for April 13. Tens of thousands of kids and adults attend the event.
  • First lady Melania Trump broke the bad news three days after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.
President Donald J. Trump, with First Lady Melania Trump by his side, speaks the White House Easter Egg Roll held on the South Lawn at the White House on Monday, April 22, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Even the Easter Bunny has to socially distance himself now.

The White House on Monday canceled its upcoming annual Easter Egg Roll because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Easter Egg Roll, which is normally held on the South Lawn of the White House had been scheduled for April 13. Tens of thousands of kids and adults attend the event, which was due to mark its 142nd year next month.

First lady Melania Trump broke the bad news about the event three days after her husband, President Donald Trump, declared a national emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. That declaration has accelerated a wave of cancellations of events and restrictions on businesses in light of the outbreak.

"The health and safety of all Americans must be the first priority, especially right now," said Melania Trump

"I deeply regret this cancellation, but we need to make difficult decisions in the short-term to ensure a healthy country for the long-term," the first lady said.

"During this time, I encourage everyone to listen to state and local officials, and follow [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines in order to help protect the health and well-being of everyone."

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President Trump speaks at White House's Easter egg roll

The cancellation came as the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut said they have jointly agreed to close most restaurants and bars and limit public gatherings to less than 50 people in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Also Monday, the Supreme Court said that it will postpone arguments scheduled for March and early April because of health concerns.

The White House Easter Egg Roll officially dates to 1878, when Rutherford Hayes was president.

The White House website said the tradition began when "a group of bold children walked up to the White House gate, hoping to be allowed to play egg-rolling games there."

"President Hayes told his guards to let the children enter, and soon Easter Monday on the White House grounds became an annual tradition," the site said.