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Trump cancels Republican National Convention in Jacksonville

President Donald Trump has canceled the Republican National Convention events that were due to take place in Jacksonville, FL due to the rising numbers of COVID-19 in the battleground state.

“The timing for this event is not right, it’s just not right,” Trump said. “To have a big convention, it’s just not the right time. There is nothing more important in our country than keeping our people safe.”

Trump said that delegates will still plan to meet in North Carolina and that he will give an address when he accepts the nomination.

“I’ll still do a convention speech in a different form, but we won’t do a big, crowded convention,” Trump said. “I care deeply about the people of Florida and everywhere else, frankly, in this country. And I don’t want to do anything to upset it.”

He went on to say that the convention will utilize virtual meeting technology to conduct much of its business.

“We’re going to do some things with tele-rallies and online the week that we’re discussing, which would be really good. I think we’re going to do it well,” Trump said.

The president’s new campaign manager, Bill Stepien, released a statement praising the decision.

“Leading by example, President Trump has put the health and safety of the American people first with his decision on the Jacksonville convention,” Stepien said.

The Democratic National Convention was already pushed back a month but will still be held in Milwaukee. The party has largely downscaled its convention and plans to host the majority of the event online. Democrats responded to Trump’s announcement on Thursday saying that unlike him, they have been following the guidance of medical professionals.

“Unlike Trump, we followed the science, listened to doctors and public health experts, and worked through plans to protect lives,” said DNC chair Tom Perez. “That’s how we made the decision to hold a responsible convention that will bring our country together, ensure our delegates can take care of official business without risk to public health, and still shine a spotlight on our host community of Milwaukee.”

Trump made the announcement during his coronavirus press briefing, a daily event the president brought back this week due to the surge in cases. The president warned Americans that things will get worse before they get better.

“It’s a different world, and it will be for a little while,” he said.

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