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Guilford Prepares For Presidential Visit To Testing Swab Manufacturer


President Donald Trump is planning to visit a swab manufacturer in Guilford on Friday, marking his first stop in Maine since he was elected.

According to a White House official, President Trump will visit Guilford on Friday to tour Puritan Medical Products, which manufactures specialized testing swabs that are being used in COVID-19 tests.

But locally, town officials offered few details on the Friday visit. A Guilford selectman directed questions to Town Manager Johanna Turner, who provided a statement saying that the town has “yet to be contacted directly by the White House” about Trump’s visit, but is proud of the work being done at Puritan. A company spokesperson didn’t return a request for comment.

Some state leaders have expressed concerns about the visit. In a conference call on Monday, Gov. Janet Mills told Trump she was concerned that Trump’s appearance could cause “security problems” in the state.

In a message posted to Facebook on Tuesday, Piscataquis County Sheriff Robert Young said that his office is working with the Secret Service, as well as state and local law enforcement agencies, around the event.

A “peaceful protest” has already been planned in Guilford for Friday afternoon. In the event’s online description, organizers say they hope it will show the president that there is disagreement with the way he’s handling police brutality issues, and “that even rural Maine isn’t a place to hide from the protests.” On Facebook, Young said that he’d spoken with the protest organizers and is asking them and those opposing the protest to conduct any actions peacefully.

Meanwhile, another complicating factor could be the local high school’s “socially distanced” graduation event, which is set to take place on Friday evening. Superintendent Kelly McFadyen says the district has spoken with town officials and law enforcement about Trump’s appearance and will change any graduation plans, if needed.