Trump cancels Jacksonville portion of GOP convention

Trump cancels Jacksonville portion of GOP convention

Donald Trump has cancelled his Republican convention speech in Florida because of coronavirus, saying the surge in cases in the area made holding the event too risky.

"The timing for this event is not right, it just not right with what has happened recently the flare up in Florida to have a big convention it's not the right time", he said. "To have a big convention, it's just not the right time".

Despite urges to ignore them, Trump was closely watching as several Republican lawmakers said they weren't going to Jacksonville or were considering not going, a person familiar said.

The Republican convention had been scheduled to be held in Jacksonville from August 24-27.

"We'll do a fairly reasonably quick meeting in North Carolina", Trump said.

Trump said he'll still give an acceptance speech. probably in a tele-rally.

"It's a different world, and it will be for a little while", Trump said, explaining his decision at a White House coronavirus briefing.

Convention events will still be held in North Carolina.

"I could see the media saying 'Oh, this is very unsafe.' I don't want to be in that position", Trump said. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said the campaign will still "provide exciting, informative, and enthusiastic programming so Republicans can celebrate the re-nomination of President Trump and Vice President Pence".

The Democratic National Convention - which was pushed back a month and is scheduled to start on August 17 - is still being held in Milwaukee. "To have a convention, it's just not the right time".

"I think we'll do it well", Trump continued. "... I have to protect the American people and that's something I will always do and that's what I'm about".

Trump said Republicans would still meet in Charlotte as planned on the first day of the four-day convention to handle official business. Former Vice President Joe Biden is the nominee of the opposition Democratic party.

On Thursday, Trump announced he's canceling the convention for the same reason.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Sheriff Mike Williams released a joint statement praising the decision.

But Mr Trump has so far held only one campaign rally since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, and national polls are showing he is lagging behind Democrat opponent Joe Biden in popularity. So he moved it to Jacksonville, a more Republican-friendly city.

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