President Trump, citing safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, abruptly canceled the "big crowded" portion of the Republican National Convention that had been scheduled for Jacksonville, Fla., in late August, reversing his own insistence on a high-profile speech to a full arena.
"We won't do a big, crowded convention per se", Trump said.
But last week - as new cases of the coronavirus surged in Florida - Republican Party officials announced that they were downsizing the events in Jacksonville by limiting the number of people who could attend the convention - and moving parts of the confab to outdoor venues. Still, some low-profile meetings connected to the RNC were expected to take place in North Carolina.
Trump said he would deliver an acceptance speech in an alternate form. He said, we'll do something online, but it will be nothing like having 20,000 people.
The source familiar with convention planning told Insider the decision came as the Trump campaign began to finally grasp how bad the coronavirus is, adding it was "politically best for him to veer toward the public-health need and demonstrate responsible leadership".
The convention was originally scheduled to be held in Charlottesville in North Carolina.
Trump said he was told they could "make this work very easily" and it could be done safely and responsibly.
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The president said the money would be used to support measures like smaller class sizes, teachers aides, rearranging spaces for social distancing and masks.
"I think we'll do it well", Trump continued.
The convention was scheduled for August 24-27, but Florida is among Sun Belt and western states that recently have seen significant spikes in coronavirus cases and deaths.
President Trump speaks for the duration of a information conference Thursday at the White Home. He said, quote, "I just felt it was wrong to have people go to a hot spot".
Trump reported Republicans would nonetheless meet in Charlotte as prepared on the 1st working day of the 4-working day convention to deal with formal enterprise. Joe Biden plans to accept the presidential nomination in person, but it remains to be seen whether there will be a significant in-person audience. "It's just not right with what's happened recently, the flare up in Florida".
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, a former chair of the Florida Republican Party, said he appreciated Trump "putting health and public safety first". President Donald Trump has chose to scrap the Republican Convention due to be held in the state next month. The list of donors to the now-canceled event reads like a who's who of industry titans, power brokers and wealthy Republicans.