President Donald Trump insisted Thursday there is “no way” he would cancel the Republican National Convention, which is scheduled for August in Charlotte.
The president made that declaration to Fox TV host Sean Hannity. Trump’s comments came as the novel coronavirus continues its spread in the U.S. and around the world.
“We are definitely planning — it’s toward the end of August,” the president told Hannity. “Somebody was asking today, ‘Will you cancel your convention?’ I said no way I’m going to cancel the convention. We’re going to have the convention, it’s going to be incredible. . . I think we’re going to be in great shape.”
The convention is planned for Aug. 24 to 27. As many as 50,000 people from around the world are expected to attend.
Given the global coronavirus pandemic, there had been questions about whether both the Republican and Democratic conventions will go forward. The Democratic gathering is scheduled for mid-July in Milwaukee.
One reason the GOP convention was scheduled more than a month later was because of the scheduled 2020 Oylmpics in Tokyo. The games have since been postponed until 2021 because of the virus.
Democratic convention officials have said while they’re moving forward as scheduled, they’re making contingency plans.
“Every convention necessitates developing a number of contingency plans to provide for a variety of scenarios,” Democratic convention CEO Joe Solmonese said in a statement this month. “(T)he convention team will remain in constant communication with the . . . authorities responsible for protecting public health and security.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, told CNN the convention should go on, if possible.
“We ought to be able to conduct our democratic processes as well as deal with this issue, but look, that decision will be made (based on) the state of the nation at that moment,” he said.
This week the North Carolina Republican Party announced it’s delaying its state convention from May to June because of the virus. Both the state GOP and Democratic parties have made the county and congressional district conventions preceding the state gathering virtual.
MECKLENBURG ‘STAY AT HOME’ ORDER
Mecklenburg County began a stay-at-home order Thursday scheduled to last for three weeks, though officials have said it could go longer. Non-essential commerce and travel are halted. Groups of more than 10 are banned. People are urged to keep a 6-foot social distance.
This week Politico reported GOP convention officials are moving ahead with their plans.
“We are fully committed to holding the Republican convention in Charlotte as planned and re-nominating President Trump,” Richard Walters, the Republican National Committee chief of staff, told Politico. “We have not had any substantive conversations about alternative scenarios.”
The story said the Charlotte host committee has so far raised $51 million in commitments for the convention.