More than a week after President Donald Trump threatened to move the Republican National Convention from North Carolina over coronavirus restrictions, the state’s governor is recommending that Republicans plan for a “scaled-down” convention.
“I am in receipt of your letter of May 30, 2020, demanding a ‘full convention’ which includes ‘19,000 delegates, alternative delegates, staff, volunteers, elected officials and guests inside the Spectrum Center,'” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) wrote to Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
He continued, “You also require ‘full hotels and restaurants and bars at capacity.’ In my conversations with you and President Trump Friday night, you want us to guarantee a full arena.”
“We had appreciated your earlier acknowledgements that a successful and safe convention would need to be scaled back to protect the health of participants as well as North Carolinians. Unfortunately, it appears that has now changed. We still want a safe RNC convention in Charlotte that follows the health guidelines set for in the CDC’s interim guidance regarding mass gatherings … 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.”
“With the Nation, the State of North Carolina and the City of Charlotte still under states of emergency, it’s important to conduct the RNC convention accordingly. As much as we want the conditions surrounding COVID-19 to be favorable enough for you to hold the Convention you describe in late August, it is very unlikely,” Cooper said
He added, “Neither public officials nor I will risk the health and safety of North Carolinians by providing the guarantee you seek.”
Today Gov. Cooper shared a letter with RNC officials to continue the conversation about the convention in Charlotte. pic.twitter.com/pBTNyUHIQA— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) June 2, 2020
Cooper’s letter comes just over a week after Trump threatened to relocate the convention if the event would have to be scaled-back due to coronavirus restrictions, as IJR reported.
In a tweet, Trump demanded that Cooper let the Republican National Committee know if the convention can proceed with full capacity. He added, “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.”
After Trump’s tweet, McDaniel said, “The president is right to say to the governor, ‘You need to assure us before we lock in all these hotel rooms and we bring all of this revenue to your state that you’re going to let us have this convention.'”
Additionally, she said, “There’s a lot of states that are calling the president right now saying, ‘Hey, why don’t you bring that revenue to our state.'”
Politico reported on Tuesday that RNC officials were touring Nashville as a potential host city for the convention.