Trump searching for new place to hold Republican convention

By: AFP      Published: 11:31 AM, 3 Jun, 2020
Trump searching for new place to hold Republican convention
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visit the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, to lay a ceremonial wreath and observe a moment of remembrance under the Statue of Saint John Paul II in Washington, DC. AFP

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he was now looking for a state to host the Republican National Convention later this summer, after  North Carolina said it could not do so as planned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Though Trump is all but guaranteed to win his party's nomination for the November 3 presidential vote, the traditional election-year gathering -- set for August 24 to 27 -- is still a staple of American political theatre.

Trump on Twitter lashed out at the state's Democratic governor Roy Cooper, who said he could not authorize the convention to go ahead as planned due to concerns about mass gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Because of @NC_Governor, we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention," the president tweeted, accusing the governor of depriving the state of potential financial windfalls that could come from hosting the event.

"Governor Cooper is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised," he wrote.

Cooper had sent a letter to the Republican Party earlier in the day explaining that the convention would have to take place on a smaller scale with social distancing measures and mask-wearing due to recommendations from health authorities to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Democrats have discussed the possibility of organizing a virtual or pared-down convention for when they nominate their candidate Joe Biden in August, but Trump has so far rejected that idea for his own party.

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