President Donald Trump announced he was canceling a portion of the upcoming Republican National Convention in Jacksonville due to concerns about the spread of the virus in Florida.
“The timing for this event is not right … with what’s happened recently, the flareup in Florida,” Trump said during a Thursday press conference. “To have a big convention, it’s not the right time.”
A smaller group of delegates will still be gathering in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Aug. 24, as previously scheduled.
“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,” Trump said. “I have to protect the American people.”
Last month, Trump pulled the convention from its original location in North Carolina, citing the state governor’s refusal to guarantee that the GOP could use an arena for the convention because of concerns about the virus. The RNC then announced it was moving most of its main convention events to Jacksonville, with Trump accepting the nomination in that city, while a handful of smaller events would still take place in Charlotte.
On Thursday, Florida reported 173 new deaths and 10,249 confirmed cases, making for a total of 5,632 deaths and 389,868 cases.