Trump cancels portion of Republican National Convention in Jacksonville due to Florida COVID-19 surge
Trump said Republican convention business will only take place in Charlotte
President Donald Trump, confronting the reality of a COVID-19 pandemic surge in Florida, on Thursday cancelled the Jacksonville part of the Republican National Convention in August, where he had envisioned crowds cheering him on to a second term.
The official convention business - where Trump formally gets the nomination - will be in Charlotte, N.C.
Trump’s announcement was a surprise, with convention planners getting no advance notice from the party’s Committee on Arrangements.
Trump earlier moved most of the convention activities from Charlotte to Florida to escape coronavirus infection curbs. A few days ago, the Republican National Committee said it would pay for each convention-goer to take an in-home test before they leave.
He said at a press conference “it’s time to cancel the Jacksonville Florida component of the GOP convention” with the limited North Carolina portion to remain.
Instead of a packed convention, Trump said “and we’re going to do some other things with tele-rallies and online, with plans still in the works.
“I think we’re going to do it well. And I’ll still do a convention speech in a different form. But we won’t do a big crowded convention per se, it’s just not the right time for that. I care deeply about the people of Florida and everywhere else frankly in this country and even in the world, who would be coming into the state, and I don’t want to do anything to upset it.”
Trump said it was “wrong” to send people into a “hotspot.” He said he would announce the location of his acceptance speech in the “next few days.”
At the end of June, Democratic convention delegates were told not to come to Milwaukee later this summer for their convention, though the city will “anchor” four nights of programming capped by Joe Biden traveling to the battleground state to accept the presidential nomination.
The RNC earlier in June announced it will have convention-related business meetings in Charlotte Aug. 21-24. What the RNC was calling “The Convention Celebration” in Jacksonville was supposed to start the evening of Aug. 24, with Trump to accept his 2020 nomination on Thursday, Aug. 27.