Trump Cancels In-Person Jacksonville Republican National Convention

There will still be events, starting in North Carolina, and an acceptance speech, but no large convention in Jacksonville.

Trump just announced there would be no large in-person Republican National Convention in Jacksonville due to the threat of the coronavirus.

There will be events, just no large gathering as originally planned:

President Donald Trump said he will no longer hold a large, in-person Republican convention in Jacksonville, Florida, because of the coronavirus but will hold virtual events and still give an acceptance speech.

“I told my team it’s time to cancel the Jacksonville, Florida, component of the G.O.P. Convention. We will be starting in North Carolina for the Monday, as has always been planned, we were never taking that off,” Trump said at a press conference at the White House Thursday afternoon.

Trump said that it was “not the right time” for a big convention, adding that he had “to protect the American people.”

“People making travel arrangements all the over the country, they wanted to be there,” he said.

Trump’s plans for Jacksonville appeared to be in peril earlier this week when the city council president raised safety and health concerns and threatened to oppose a key funding bill for the convention.

Trump said he had spoken with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis about his decision and said that he would still do a convention speech in a “different form,” not the arena event he had hoped for.

He said that DeSantis did not ask him to cancel the convention, but he decided to do it anyways for safety reasons and for the media backlash he thought he would receive.

I’m not sure he had a lot of choice politically. A large gathering was too risky even if there was no documentable spread because of it. While I think the polls are overstating Biden’s lead, there’s no doubt that Trump needs a restart. Having Brad Parscale as campaign manager was fighting the last war; replacing him was right. He also needs to get control not only of the virus, but the virus narrative. If the economy comes back strong in the fall, Trump likely wins. If the economy turns south (pun intended) and the RNC convention takes the blame, he probably loses.

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Author: William A. Jacobson

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