President Donald Trump announced that the Republican convention in Jacksonville, Florida, has been canceled as a result of a spike in the number of coronavirus cases across the state.
During his daily White House coronavirus press briefing on Thursday, Trump said he told his team the safety of the American people is his top priority and it is not appropriate to be holding convention activities in Jacksonville at this time.
“I looked at my team and I said the timing for this event is not right, it’s just not right with what’s happened recently, the flare-up in Florida. To have a big convention it’s not the right time,” Trump said.
He added, “It’s really something that for me, I have to protect the American people. That’s what I’ve always done. That’s what I always will do. That’s what I’m about.”
Check out his comments below:
BREAKING: Pres. Trump says he is cancelling Jacksonville, FL, portion of Republican National Convention, citing state's surge in COVID-19 cases.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 23, 2020
The announcement comes shortly after Republican National Committee (RNC) leaders scrambled to make adjustments to convention activities in efforts to provide a safer experience.
The original plan was to limit the attendance to only regular delegates for the first three days of the convention.
A group of Jacksonville attorneys opposed the event and filed a lawsuit to block the convention from taking place, as IJR previously reported.
Trump reiterated to his team the most important thing is to keep Americans safe.
“They said, ‘Sir we can make this work very easily, we have great enthusiasm, incredible enthusiasm,’ even the polls say about the most enthusiasm they’ve seen, ‘We can do this safely and we can do it responsibly,'” Trump said.
He continued, “And I said there’s nothing more important in our country than keeping our people safe, whether that’s from the China virus or the radical left mob.”
Trump said he will still do a convention speech “in a different form.”
Convention events will still take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, as scheduled.
Florida falls behind California and New York in the number of coronavirus cases. As of Thursday evening, there are more than 389,000 cases in Florida alone and over 5,500 deaths.
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