Business Standard

Trump demands immediate answer from governor on RNC capacity


AP Washington
President Donald Trump demanded Monday that North Carolina's Democratic governor sign off immediately on allowing the Republican National Convention to move forward in August with full attendance despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump's tweets Monday about the RNC, planned for Charlotte, come just two days after the North Carolina recorded its largest daily increase in positive cases yet.
On Friday, Governor Roy Cooper moved the state into a second phase of gradual reopening with some further loosening of restrictions on hair salons, barbers and restaurants. But he said the state must continue to closely watch virus trends and has ordered entertainment venues, gyms and bars to remain closed.
Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed... full attendance in the Arena, Trump tweeted Monday.
He added that Republicans must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied. If not, we will be reluctantly find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site.
Cooper's office did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the tweets.
A week ago, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel asserted on a call with reporters that the convention slated for August 24-27 would be held at least partly in person and vowed not to hold a virtual convention.
She said at the time that the RNC has enlisted a medical adviser and that the party was consulting with the Charlotte mayor and the governor.
Several days later, during a visit to the Charlotte area, a top Trump administration health official sounded less certain.
Asked about what preparations Charlotte will need to make to safely host the RNC, federal Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said increasing testing capacity will be important.
However, he did not refer to a traditional in-person convention as a certainty, but rather noted that we're several months away from the possibility of the RNC.
Before Monday, Cooper and Trump had yet to publicly spar during the pandemic. While Cooper has urged the federal government to help North Carolina get more testing supplies and protective gear, he's avoided criticising Trump by name.
Trump, meanwhile, has refrained before Monday from calling out Cooper as he has other Democratic governors.
Cooper, who narrowly won election over an incumbent Republican in 2016, faces a challenge in November's gubernatorial race from Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who has urged a faster reopening of state businesses.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: May 25 2020 | 8:12 PM IST

Explore News