Trump Cancels Florida Republican National Convention in Rare Admission on Coronavirus
President Donald Trump has cancelled the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida in a rare moment of recognition that the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic continues to be serious and large gatherings could endanger people’s lives.
Trump made the announcement to the press on Thursday in a move that surprised many. Both the President and his party have been pushing to hold the convention in a traditional way, despite various setbacks. Delegates will still meet in Charlotte, North Carolina but the events will be muted.
“It’s not the right time for that,” Trump said at the second of his new Coronavirus briefings.
“It’s a different world, and it will be for a little while,” he said, adding that it “just felt it was wrong” to risk the health of the thousands who would likely attend.
“We didn’t want to take any chances,” Trump said. “We have to be vigilant. we have to be careful and we have to set an example.”
The decision is positive from a public health point of view, but critics will point to the Republican Party’s initial reluctance to change the program and recent sparsely attended Trump rallies that reportedly led the President to replace his campaign manager.
A poorly attended RNC would undermine Trump’s message about the need to reopen the country and prove embarrassing for his reelection.