UPDATE: President Donald Trump said that they will “forced to seek another state” to host the Republican National Convention, after the governor of North Carolina told the GOP that their planned event in Charlotte would have to be scaled back because of the coronavirus.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper wrote in a letter to Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel that that “the people of North Carolina do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August, so planning for a scaled down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity.”
Trump suggested later on Tuesday that they would be looking for alternatives.
In a statement, McDaniel said that while the RNC hopes to “conduct the business of our convention in Charlotte,” it has “an obligation to our delegates and nominee to begin visiting the multiple cities and states whop have reached out in recent days about hosting an historic event to the America is open for business.”
McDaniel had demanded a “full convention,” with some 19,000 people gathered in the city’s Spectrum Center — a prospect that already had received some pushback from Cooper. In his letter, he indicated that he had spoken to her and President Donald Trump about it on Friday night, and they wanted him to guarantee a “full arena.”
The convention is planned for August 25-27. Democrats already have pushed back their convention to August 17-20 in Milwaukee because of the coronavirus crisis, and have indicated that the event would likely need to be scaled back out of concerns over the coronavirus.
The convention will be more of a coronation for Trump as the nominee, as he has gone through the primaries with no serious challengers, but a smaller event will likely change the nature of TV coverage.
In a May 25 tweet, Trump demanded an answer from Cooper on whether the RNC would be allowed to fully occupy the arena space. “If not, we will be reluctantly forced to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site. This is not something I want to do.”