Coronavirus: Trump says Republicans 'forced' to move convention

Henrietta Strickland
June 3, 2020

President Trump says he will pull the Republican National Convention from Charlotte, North Carolina, because of Gov. Roy Cooper's reluctance to allow 19,000 delegates to pack the Spectrum Center arena.

Without knowing how the COVID-19 outbreak will continue to unfold, he said, "planning for a scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity".

"We had appreciated your earlier acknowledgments that a successful and safe convention would need to be scaled back to protect the health of participants as well as North Carolinians", Cooper wrote Tuesday.

Indeed, as NBC News' report added, the official City of Charlotte Twitter handle wrote, "We have a contract in place with the RNC to host the convention and the City Attorney will be in contact with the attorneys for the RNC to understand their full intentions".

Trump rejected Cooper's letter, castigating the governor for jeopardizing the "millions of dollars, and jobs for the state". He also berated the governor for being "still in shelter-in-place mode".

Cooper sent a letter to the Republican National Committee on Tuesday, saying it was "very unlikely" that public health officials would be able to authorize a "full" convention in late August. Other cities being discussed are the Florida cities of Jacksonville and Orlando; Las Vegas, Nevada; and sites in the southeastern state of Georgia.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaking in Raleigh on Tuesday
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaking in Raleigh on Tuesday

Ms McDaniel tweeted that the party would "begin visiting the multiple cities and states who have reached out to us" to scout alternative venues.

When the Democratic National Convention was held in Charlotte in 2012, he said an increase in business from visitors was balanced by the fact that his regulars stayed away. His demands are likely to be extremely hard as several years of planning go into party conventions.

Democrats' convention is set for August 17-20 in Milwaukee, but there has been discussion of a scaled-back or virtual event because of the pandemic.

The organization is still hoping to conduct the convention's "official business" in Charlotte, an RNC spokesperson said. None of those things are permitted in full under North Carolina's current COVID-19 restrictions, which are in place until at least June 26.

A scene from Donald Trump's acceptance speech on the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, in 2016.

As of Tuesday, almost 30,000 coronavirus cases had been confirmed in North Carolina with 716 now hospitalized for COVID-19 and 21 deaths.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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