President Trump announced a major decision that puts the safety of the American public above all else.
The president in a Thursday press briefing revealed that he’s canceling the Republican National Convention events which were slated to take place in Jacksonville, Florida due to the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the state.
“The timing for this event is not right, it’s just not right,” Trump said during the briefing at the White House. “To have a big convention, it’s just not the right time.”
“There is nothing more important in our country than keeping our people safe,” the president added.
Trump’s re-election campaign manager Bill Stepien delivered a statement saying, “Leading by example, President Trump has put the health and safety of the American people first with his decision on the Jacksonville convention.”
The Republican Party of Florida tweeted that Trump “made a selfless decision by cancelling the FL component of @GOP Convention.”
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna McDaniel said she supported the preisdent’s announcement, calling it a “difficult decision.”
The RNC planned to hold the Jacksonville parts of the convention in the VyStar arena. But coronavirus cases in Florida initially forced Republican Party officials announced that they were downsizing the events in Jacksonville by limiting the number of people who could attend the convention and moving parts of the confab to outdoor venues.
This followed soon after the city enacted a mandatory mask requirement for public and indoor locations.
As of Thursday, the state had recorded more than 390,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – including more than 9,000 in the last 24 hours – and over 5,500 deaths.
The RNC last month chose Jacksonville to host major portions of the convention, after largely abandoning the city of Charlotte, N.C., over disagreements with the Democrat governor Roy Cooper over crowd restrictions.
The president and Republican officials were angered after Cooper was threatening to place event-impacting restrictions on the convention.
After deciding to move the celebratory aspects of the convention out of North Carolina, Jacksonville was likely attractive to GOP officials because it was the only city under consideration as a backup to Charlotte that has a Republican mayor in a state with a governor from the same party.
Even after moving most of the convention to Florida, the RNC had always planned to hold some business aspects of the gathering in Charlotte.
While the Jacksonville portion of the convention has been canceled, Trump said that delegates will still meet in North Carolina and that he will give an address when he accepts the nomination.
Key Republican party events will likely be moved online – which may include the president’s nomination acceptance speech.
“We’re going to do some things with tele-rallies and online the week that we’re discussing, which would be really good. I think we’re going to do it well,” Trump said.
The Democrats have also dramatically made major cutbacks on their events. The Democratic National Convention was pushed back a month and is scheduled to start on Aug. 17, but is still being held in Milwaukee.