Trump cancels GOP Convention in Jacksonville, citing concerns about COVID spread

Weeks after chiding Governor Roy Cooper and announcing he would pull the Republican National Convention from Charlotte, President Donald Trump announced Thursday he would cancel the GOP Convention rescheduled for Jacksonville, Florida.

In May and into early June, Trump pushed Gov. Cooper to green light a “full convention” that would have brought 19,000 delegates, staff and volunteers to the Spectrum Center in Charlotte.

Cooper refused to bow to that pressure, explaining to the Republican National Committee:

“The people of North Carolina do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August, so planning for a scaled down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity.”

At the time, Trump wanted a mask-free convention.

At Thursday’s White House briefing Trump acknowledged that holding a crowded event rescheduled for a venue in Jacksonville would no longer be wise.

“We have to be vigilant. We have to be careful. We have to set an example,” said Trump.

A much smaller group GOP delegates is still expected to gather in Charlotte on August 24th to formally renominate Trump for the top of the ticket.

The president’s decision to call off the crowded political convention amid rising COVID-19 numbers is also raising new questions about the safety of in-person instruction for students and teachers this fall.

The U.S. has now topped four million cases of COVID-19, with 144,000 American deaths.

North Carolina recorded 1,892 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday with 1,188 people hospitalized.

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