In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, President Trump announced the cancellation of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Jacksonville. The nominating convention for the Republican National Committee had previously been moved from Charlotte, N.C., after Democratic Governor Roy Cooper resisted the long-planned event, ostensibly due to concerns over COVID-19.
People elected me to help and protect. So I told my team it’s time to cancel the Jacksonville, Florida component of the convention. We’ll be starting in North Carolina. That has always been planned. We were never taking that off. It’s remaining as it is. The delegates are going to get together where they do their nomination. We’re going to do some other things with tele-rallies and online the week that we’re discussing which will be really good. I think we’re going to do it really well. I’ll still do a convention speech, in a different form. But we won’t do a big, crowded convention, per se. It’s just not the right time for that.
The convention has gone through several changes due to the CCP coronavirus pandemic. Originally scheduled for Charlotte, organizers expected upwards of 50,000 attendees. After resistance from Gov. Cooper, the RNC came up with a hybrid plan, where a few hundred RNC members would conduct business in Charlotte, then move the entire operation to Jacksonville. Originally they hoped to have around 2,500 delegates in the arena for the week in Jacksonville, with alternate delegates, press, and guests in another area. Jacksonville was chosen, in part, because it has a Republican mayor, as well as a Republican state governor, Ron DeSantis.
Those plans have now been canceled due to the rise in coronavirus cases in several parts of the U.S., including Florida.
Concerns have risen in recent weeks over the optics of holding the convention as cases of COVID-19 have risen. PJ Media reported two weeks ago:
It had always been expected that reopening the economies of states would lead to a spike in infections. But it had been hoped that by late August, the increase in positive tests would settle at a reasonable number and the party could have gone forward. Convention planners are now looking at the optics of holding an event with a large gathering at all.
Then, last week:
The sheriff of Duval County, Fla., Mike Williams, is casting doubt on the prospects of holding any kind of a Republican convention in Jacksonville next month, saying he can’t provide security for the event due to “a lack of clear plans, adequate funding and enough law enforcement officers.”
“As we’re talking today, we are still not close to having some kind of plan that we can work with that makes me comfortable that we’re going to keep that event and the community safe,” he said.
The RNC now finds itself forced to plan a virtual event for delegates.
Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff, and on Parler at @RealJeffReynolds.
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