JACKSONVILLE— On Thursday, July 23, President Trump canceled the portion of the Republican National Convention set to be held in Jacksonville, Florida. This is due to safety threats posed by COVID-19. The GOP convention was scheduled for August 24-27 and would draw over 10,000 people.
The decision was made after President Trump met with political advisors. He explained that he did not want to go through with the convention because of the “flare up” of coronavirus cases in Florida. According to the state Department of Health, Florida reported 173 deaths on Thursday, setting a new record.
“The timing of the event is not right. It’s just not right… I care deeply about the people of Florida and everywhere else frankly in this country and even in the world. Would be coming into the state and I don’t want to do anything to upset it, they’ll be doing very well,” Trump told reporters during a White House briefing.
“It was obviously shocking news, and a little disappointing, but I think the president acted in a selfless way tonight,” said Senator Joe Gruters, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.
The Republican National Convention was initially set to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina. However, after Trump and Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper clashed on restrictions, it was moved to Jacksonville.
Trump now says that he’d “still do a convention speech, in a different form. But we won’t do a big crowded convention, per se.”
Democrats will hold an almost entirely virtual convention from August 17-20 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Though there will be live broadcasts and online streaming, Joe Biden intends to accept the presidential nomination in person.