TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — President Donald Trump on Thursday canceled the Republican National Convention events that were slated to take place in Jacksonville, Florida next month amid rising coronavirus numbers in the south.
“People elected me to help and protect,” he said. “So I told my team it’s time to cancel the Jacksonville, Florida component of the GOP convention.”
President Trump made the announcement while giving a coronavirus update from the White House Thursday evening.
“We won’t do a big, crowded convention, per se. It’s just not the right time for that,” the president said. “I care deeply about the people of Florida and everywhere else, frankly, in this country – and even in the world – who would be coming into the state.”
Trump said later in the briefing that while he had been working with Florida officials, they had not asked him specifically to cancel the event. The sheriff in Jacksonville expressed concerns earlier this week about the convention being held in Florida.
The smaller events scheduled to happen in North Carolina will still take place, the president noted.
“The delegates are going to get together, that’s where they do their nomination. So the delegates are going to North Carolina to do the nomination,” Trump explained. “And we’re going to do some other things with tele-rallies and online that week that we’re discussing.”
Trump also said he would still deliver a convention speech but in a different form.
The RNC had only been moved to Jacksonville in mid-June. It was originally supposed to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina. President Trump and the GOP decided to move the convention after Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the GOP couldn’t hold a full-scale rally in Charlotte over coronavirus concerns.
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