Sonny Perdue will sit out for President Trump’s first State of the Union address as a protective measure for the country.
Perdue, the Secretary of Agriculture for the Trump Administration, has been named the State of the Union designated survivor for 2018, the White House confirmed on Tuesday. Consequently, Perdue will be the lone member of the Trump Administration who does not attend the State of the Union in the U.S. Capitol. Instead, he will watch it from an undisclosed location in case there is an attack on the Capitol that could kill everyone in attendance.
In the unlikely event that happens, Purdue would become President of the United States — a scenario that became fodder for the ABC television drama, “Designated Survivor.”
The designated survivor tradition dates back to the Cold War, when officials were concerned about the prospect of a nuclear attack, only to gain increasing importance after the September 11th attacks. Although Trump did not deliver a State of the Union address last year, David Shulkin, his Secretary of Veteran Affairs, was the designated survivor for his joint address to Congress.
Trump will deliver his speech starting at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 30. You can watch the State of the Union online for free.