North Carolina governor calls full GOP convention ‘unlikely’


North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday said he was still waiting for Republican officials to share a plan for the party’s national convention — and accused them of reneging on a deal to scale down the event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter addressed to RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Marcia Lee Kelly, CEO of the party’s convention, which is to be held in Charlotte in August, Cooper said the pair in a May 30 letter and Trump in a Friday night phone call had demanded a “full convention,” which Cooper dismissed as “unlikely.”

The event the GOP wants “19,000 delegates, alternative delegates, staff, volunteers, elected officials and guests inside the Spectrum Center.”

The pair, according to the Democratic governor’s letter, also wanted “full hotels and restaurants and bars at capacity” despite their alleged earlier assurances that they would accept a smaller version “to protect the health of participants and North Carolinians.”

Cooper added that he still wanted a “safe convention” in Charlotte that followed the Centers for Disease Control and Protections’ guidelines for safe mass gatherings — but that in the Friday night phone call with Trump, the president insisted on a full-blown convention.

“The people of North Carolina don’t know what the status of Covid-19 will be in August, so planning for a scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity,” he wrote.

The governor also said he was still waiting for a response from the party to questions about safety raised by the Tar Heel State’s health officials.

“As much as we want the conditions surrounding Covid-19 to be favorable enough to hold the Convention you describe in late August, it is very unlikely,” he continued.

“Neither public health officials nor I will risk the health and safety of North Carolinians by providing the guarantee you seek.”

McDaniel replied by accusing Cooper of “foot dragging” — and blamed him for not informing the party of “guidance as to how to move forward with plans to safely conduct our convention,” despite Cooper’s reference to the CDC guidelines.

McDaniel said moving the convention would cost North Carolina millions of dollars of revenue.

At least 30,022 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 961 have died, according to the state and county health departments, the Raleigh News & Observer reported Tuesday.

Trump has insisted on having a full convention and ripped Cooper, threatening to move the event, scheduled for Aug. 24-27, to Florida or Georgia or another state with a Republican governor.


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