The Republican National Convention will no longer be taking place in Jacksonville, Florida. In fact, some of the previously scheduled events surrounding the convention won’t be taking place at all.
The RNC was moved to Jacksonville after the Governor of North Carolina refused to allow for the event to go on at full capacity, and pushed to require masks for attendees. The Trump campaign wasn’t having it, believing that a raucous and rowdy crowd was too important to leave behind for the 2020 election. The Trump team believed that Jacksonville could provide that.
Then, as Florida’s coronavirus cases began to rise, doubt crept in.
Now, with just a few weeks until go-time, President Trump has been forced to pull the plug.
President Donald Trump announced Thursday that Republicans have scrapped plans to hold convention activities in Jacksonville, Florida.
The move is a striking turnaround for Trump, who moved the convention to Jacksonville after North Carolina’s governor raised public health concerns about having massive gatherings in Charlotte, as the GOP had long planned.
Pared-back events in Charlotte will still be held, Trump said.
Despite urges to ignore them, Trump was closely watching as several Republican lawmakers said they weren’t going to Jacksonville or were considering not going, a person familiar said. Trump was wary of having sparse attendance at the convention. Just a month ago, the Trump campaign was playing up expectations for a massive crowd at the President’s first rally since the pandemic began, but those crowds in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were much smaller than expected.
The President’s statement on the matter was terse.
Trump said on Thursday he informed his team that his focus was on protecting the American people, even though aides advised him they could make an in-person convention safe.
“I looked at my team and I said the timing for this event is not right. It’s just not right,” Trump said at the White House. “To have a big convention, it’s not the right time.”
President Trump would go on to say that there was “nothing more important” than keeping Americans safe during this time.
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