'About 60 percent' of West Point cadets forced to return for Trump's commencement speech could have coronavirus, cadets are warned in private call

President Donald Trump plans to speak at the West Point military academy graduation ceremony, forcing 1,000 graduates to travel back to the New York-area campus in the midst of a pandemic.
The president's decision has sparked concerns about the safety of the students, who had dispersed after spring break and are currently completing their studies via remote learning. The ceremony is now scheduled for June 13.
Ahead of the event, school officials have warned cadets that many of them could be positive for the coronavirus, according to partial audio obtained by the Washington Post. Testing and other restrictive measures would be required to mitigate the risk.
"Because all 1,000 of you are going to be coming back, you're probably going to be about 60 percent who have coronavirus, so we're going to likely test all of you," an instructor told a group of cadets on an April 21 video call, the Post reported.
The instructor then compared the effort to measures being taken to limit the outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, according to the Post. The Navy tested all 4,800 sailors onboard and found that more than 840 of them had tested positive.
Like so many schools around the country, West Point's graduation was initially postponed. But on April 17, Trump announced he would go ahead with delivering the address.
"I'm doing it at West Point, which I look forward to," Trump said a White House press briefing. "I did it last year at Air Force, I did it at Annapolis, I did it at the Coast Guard Academy, and I'm doing it at West Point. And I assume they're — they've got it, and I understand they'll have distancing. They'll have some big distance, and so it'll be very different than it ever looked."
The White House allowed West Point to make the final decision about the commencement, the New York Times reported.
"The ceremony will look different from recent graduation ceremonies because of current social health force protection measures," West Point's website reads.
West Point superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams told the Times that returning cadets would be tested off campus, and those who tested negative will be sent to the school and monitored for 14 days, believed to be the incubation period for the coronavirus.
"All 1,000 of them will not intermix," Williams said. "They'll be in their rooms. They'll have their masks on. Groups will be segregated in the mess hall when they eat."
There is one precedent this year for West Point's decision.
The U.S. Air Force Academy held a ceremony in Colorado on April 18,where Vice President Mike Pence delivered the commencement address. The graduation was closed to family and spectators, and graduates marched with six feet of space between them, and sat eight feet apart as Pence spoke to observe social distancing practices.
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