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Republicans Begin to Fret Over Florida COVID Cases and Plans for GOP Convention

Trouble awaits the GOP in The Sunshine State.

With less than 4 months until Americans take to the polls for the all-important 2020 election, there is still no clear consensus as to what the rest of this electoral cycle is going to look like.

We have COVID-19 to thank for this, as the highly contagious novel coronavirus continues to spread throughout the nation.  Several states who have attempted to reopen their economies in full have faced setback in regard to recovery from the illness, with case numbers and deaths both climbing in recent days.

Florida is the latest epicenter of COVID-19, thanks in no small part to the reopening of Orlando’s amusement parks, along with the consolidation of several sports leagues who are currently using ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex in order to move forward with their abbreviated seasons.

Florida is also the home of the 2020 Republican National Convention, which is cause for some concern.

After a venue change, spiking coronavirus cases and a sharp recession, Trump aides and allies are increasingly questioning whether it’s worth the trouble, and some are advocating that the convention be scrapped altogether. Conventions are meant to lay out a candidate’s vision for the coming four years, not spark months of intrigue over the health and safety of attendees, they have argued.

Ultimately, the decision on whether to move forward will be Trump’s alone.

Already the 2020 event has seen a venue change –- to more Trump-friendly territory in Jacksonville, Florida, from Charlotte, North Carolina — and it has been drastically reduced in scope. For technical reasons, the convention will be unable to formally adopt a new party platform. And what is normally a highlight of the convention — the roll call of the states to renominate the president — is set to be conducted through proxy votes in the original host city.

There appears to be no Plan B as of this moment.

Still, Trump and his aides had pinned their hopes on creating the pageantry of a formal acceptance speech in Jacksonville, envisioning an arena of packed with supporters, without face masks. Outwardly, the White House and the RNC have said they’re full-steam ahead with the revised plan.

“We’re still moving forward with Jacksonville,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said last week. “It’ll be a safe event. It will be a good event.”

Many are suggesting that President Trump relocate his acceptance speech to an outdoor area to mitigate the risk of infection, but the President has privately rebuked that idea, preferring the “charged” atmosphere of a packed arena.

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