President Donald Trump announced that he has canceled the portion of the Republican National Convention that was scheduled to be held in Jacksonville, Florida, in August. The decision comes a few weeks after he moved the event from North Carolina because local officials said the attendees would have to follow strict social distancing guidelines and wear masks.
Trump said he made the call because the country is dealing with a record surge in cases of COVID-19. While Florida had early success containing the virus, cases have exploded in recent weeks, forcing the state to roll back its plans to reopen.
"I looked at my team, and I said the timing for this event is not right. It's just not right," Trump said. "To have a big convention, it's not the right time."
"There's nothing more important in our country than keeping our people safe," Trump said.
Trump said the Republicans will still meet in North Carolina in August to handle official business, but the event will be toned down this year. He suggested that they will hold rallies online and said he will still deliver a speech, but that it will be in a "different form."
"So, the delegates are going to North Carolina, and they'll be doing the nomination," he said. "And we're going to do some other things with tele-rallies and online -- the week that we are discussing, which will be really good," Trump continued. "I'll still do a convention speech in a different form, but we won't do a big, crowded convention, per se. It's just not the right time for that."
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