President Trump announced the cancellation of portions of the Republican National Convention set to take place in Jacksonville, Florida, in August. Republican delegates are still slated to cast their votes in Charlotte, North Carolina. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi
President Donald Trump on Thursday moved to cancel the Jacksonville, Florida, portions of the Republican National Convention, scheduled for August, citing the threat of the coronavirus.
“I told my team it’s time to cancel the Jacksonville, Florida, component of the GOP convention,” Trump said at a White House briefing on the coronavirus. The state has become a hot spot for the virus.
“Thousands of people [are] wanting to be there, and I mean in some cases desperately be there,” Trump said. “People making travel arrangements all over the country.”
Trump said he will still deliver a campaign speech but “in a different form,” without giving any additional details. He said he would announce more details on the speech in the coming days.
“We won’t do a big crowded convention, per se,” he said, adding that he cares “deeply about the people of Florida.”
The Jacksonville 2020 Host Committee issued the following statement: “President Trump made the absolute right decision for the health and safety of the people of Jacksonville and of the entire state of Florida. The rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Florida is serious and the President and the RNC have demonstrated great concern for the safety of all Floridians.”
The announcement marked a staggering turnaround for Trump, who pushed for the convention to be moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, after a fight with the state’s Democratic governor over whether coronavirus precautions would limit the size of crowds.
In recent weeks, the convention has undergone significant changes in logistics and execution as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to spike in Florida, forcing the Republican Party to rethink its planning to account for measures to avoid spreading the disease to attendees and employees.
Earlier this month, organizers for the Republican National Convention announced a severe cap on the number of people who can attend the event in Jacksonville.
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