Trump threatens to move Republican convention over COVID-19 restrictions
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[May 26, 2020]
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President
Donald Trump warned on Monday that he may move the Republican National
Convention set for August from North Carolina if the event faces state
social distancing restrictions due to the coronavirus.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Trump and presumptive Democratic
nominee Joe Biden to halt campaign rallies. Some have raised concerns
that the large formal nominating conventions that are typically packed
with delegates could raise safety issues.
Trump said on Twitter that if Democratic Governor Roy Cooper does not
immediately answer "whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully
occupied," then the party will find "with all of the jobs and economic
development it brings, another Republican National Convention site."
The conventions include prime-time TV speeches that serve to kick off
the final sprint toward the November presidential election. The
Republican event is set to start Aug. 24 in Charlotte.
Cooper's office said in a statement Monday that "state health officials
are working with the RNC and will review its plans as they make
decisions about how to hold the convention in Charlotte. North Carolina
is relying on data and science to protect our state's public health and
Later, Trump tweeted he had "zero interest" in moving the convention to
his Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami. "Ballroom is not nearly
big enough," he wrote.
[to top of second column]
President Donald Trump pauses in front of a diagram while touring
the Ford Rawsonville Components Plant, which is making ventilators
and medical supplies, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
pandemic in Ypsilanti, Michigan, U.S., May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Leah
In October, Trump abandoned plans to host the G7 summit at Doral
after Democrats and others had decried the selection as evidence of
the president misusing his office for personal gain.
Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News it was "absolutely
essential" that Cooper give a "swift response" or the convention
could be moved to a state "farther along on reopening."
The Democratic National Convention, which was postponed by a month
because of the coronavirus, is set to begin Aug. 17 in Milwaukee,
A spokeswoman for the DNC event said earlier this month the
convention would follow health officials' "guidance to determine how
many people can safely gather in Milwaukee this August."
Trump won North Carolina by 3.7% in 2016. Biden's campaign thinks
the state is one of many that went for Trump that are up for grabs
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Tom
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