Republican National Convention to be scaled back
The Republican National Committee is planning to hold a scaled-back convention in Jacksonville next month after the recent surge of coronavirus cases.
Attendance will be limited to the 2,500 regular RNC delegates for the first three days of the convention. Delegates will each be allowed to bring one guest and the alternate delegates will also be allowed to attend. Total attendance will be about 7,000 people, assuming they all attend.
“I want to make clear that we still intend to host a fantastic convention celebration in Jacksonville. We can gather and put on a top-notch event that celebrates the incredible accomplishments of President Trump’s administration and his re-nomination for a second term while also doing so in a safe and responsible manner,” RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote to delegates.
RNC officials moved parts of the convention away from Charlotte, North Carolina after the state’s Democrat governor insisted on safety protocols including social distancing and mask-wearing, which the president wouldn’t accept at the time. The committee selected Jacksonville as the site for the convention, thinking the pro-Trump region and Florida’s Republican governor would make it easier to hold a full-scale event to meet the president’s demands.
Coronavirus cases have surged across the country in recent weeks including in Florida which has made the party have to change plans. The RNC has considered using an outdoor venue for portions of the convention but has still decided they simply have to scale back.
Vice President Mike Pence hinted at the changes to come during a call with reporters on Wednesday.
“I can tell you it’s, it is a work in progress. The President indicated that we’ll, we’ll be flexible, we’ll, we will continue to consult with Mayor Curry and other local officials and Gov. DeSantis as we’ve moved forward,” Pence said. “But there’s consideration being given to having the convention in an outdoor setting, and also putting the kind of measures in place that put the health of all of those that are participating, our delegates, visitors, and anyone else is present, we’ll put the health of everyone participating first.”
Democrats called Trump out after the RNC’s decision saying he should have listened to North Carolina officials in the first place and that a large convention was never an option.
“With today’s news, the President has finally recognized what Gov. Cooper had been saying for weeks. That a full-scale convention with no safety measures would be dangerous and deeply irresponsible. If it wasn’t already obvious that Donald Trump’s attacks against the Governor were purely political, it is now,” the party said in a release.
The RNC says it will provide all attendees with personal protective equipment and that tempers will be checked each day.
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