BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump CANCELS his Jacksonville convention and his own coronation as candidate in-person amid Florida’s virus spike admitting ‘it’s not the time’
President Donald Trump announced Thursday he was cancelling the Jacksonville, Florida portion of the Republican National Convention due to the state becoming a COVID-19 hotspot.
‘So I told my team it’s time to cancel the Jacksonville, Florida component of the GOP convention,’ Trump said at the top of his Thursday press briefing.
The convention would start on August 24 in Charlotte, North Carolina – which had always been the plan – before the president got in a fight with the state’s Democratic governor who couldn’t guarantee he’d be allowed to fill a stadium.
Trump didn’t commit to fully holding the RNC back in Charlotte, saying he would hold ‘tele-rallies’ through the week.
‘And I’ll still do a convention speech in a different form, but we won’t do a big, croweded convention per say. It’s just not the right time for that,’ the president said.
President Trump is photographed accepting the Republican nomination in 2016 in Cleveland. Trump wanted the same fanfare at his 2020 nominating convention and moved the main events to Jacksonville, Florida, but cancelled that portion Thursday
President Trump’s 2020 convention will no longer be partially held in Jacksonville, Florida. Here is a look at the 2016 GOP convention in Cleveland, Ohio
Thursday’s announcement marked the end of a six-week attempt to create what organizers were calling a ‘convention celebration’ in Jacksonville, as GOP delegates were still going to gather in Charlotte, but all the primetime speeches would take place in the Florida city.
In recent days, local officials expressed doubt that they could pull it off.
Jacksonville’s Sheriff Mike Williams warned that they were ‘past the point of no return’ of being able to get proper security protocols in place to host a widely attended, in-person convention starring the president of the United States.
‘With less than 40 days until the expected Republican National Convention is slated to arrive in Jacksonville, I am compelled to express my significant concerns with the viability of the event,’ said Williams, the Duval County sheriff, in a statement.
Jacksonville’s City Council President Thomas Hazouri told the Miami Herald that organizers should ‘start thinking about going virtual or scaling down even more than they’ve done.’
A memo obtained by ABC News said that Jacksonville convention attendees were to do an at-home COVID-19 test before traveling to the city – though mentioned testing, sanitizing, temperature checks would be available on-site, as well as PPE – personal protective equipment.
The memo didn’t say anything about attendees having to wear masks or social distancing.