Trump will speak remotely at NY Archdiocese’s virtual Al Smith Dinner

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President Trump has agreed to speak remotely Thursday at the New York Archdiocese’s first ever virtual Al Smith fundraising event amid the coronavirus pandemic, church officials said Monday evening.

The Archdiocese has also extended an invitation to former Vice President Joe Biden, who is Catholic, and is hopeful he will also agree to speak at the 75th annual fundraiser, the first being held remotely and not taking place at a location with speakers and hundreds of guests.

The event comes just days after President Trump nominated Catholic Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the US Supreme Court, to fill a vacancy following the recent death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Catholics are considered a key swing vote in the presidential race.

The virtual event — dedicated to first responders and front-line workers who toiled during the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak — will broadcast live Thursday beginning 7 p.m. from the Sheen Center for Thought & Culture. Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Mary Erdoes, a JP Morgan executive who serves as vice chair of the Smith Foundation board, will be there.

The National Anthem will be performed by American soprano Nadine Sierra from St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The Al Smith dinner — the biggest annual fundraiser for the Archdiocese — is typically held at one of New York’s big hotels, such as the Waldorf Astoria.

It is a must-attend event for New York’s movers and shakers — particularly in a presidential year when the candidates poke fun at each other with zingers.

Both Trump and rival Hillary Clinton attended in 2016 and roasted each other.

As New Yorkers grappled with the COVID-19 outbreak, the Archdiocese had initially planned a smaller, hybrid event with some 50 guests to be held at the Wave Hill gardens in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.

But that plan was scrapped within the last 24 hours in favor of a virtual event following discussions with state health officials still worried about preventing the spread of COVID-19, the archdiocese said.

“New York State government expressed their understandable concerns about the fifty person gathering, and, in the interest of the safety and protection of our speakers and guests, this year’s Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner will now be a virtual event,” said Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling.

“President Trump and Vice President Biden are expected to participate remotely.”

The speeches delivered by presidential candidates is a tradition that dates back to 1960, when then- Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon, participated. The goal, organizers said, is to leave “political differences at the door for one night of collegiality and good humor before the election.”

“This year, the legacy of Governor Alfred E. Smith takes on greater meaning. He was the last governor to lead our state through a pandemic. As such, the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation will dedicate this year’s event to the frontline and essential workers of New York who worked valiantly to keep the city running and the people of New York healthy and safe when the pandemic touched ground in our city,” the Archdiocese said in a statement.

“Their lessons in compassion and heroism raised the bar for what can be accomplished when we come together as a city and a country.

“This too was the message of the `Happy Warrior’ Governor Alfred E. Smith, who worked diligently to protect the interests of those most in need, even when doing so meant reaching across the aisle.”

Democrat Walter Mondale was the last presidential candidate to decline an invitation to speak at the Al Smith Dinner in 1984. Then-President Ronald Reagan spoke and won re-election just weeks later.