Deadline for North Carolina’s decision on Republican convention

North Carolina and the Republican National Committee (RNC) must today agree on whether the state will host the party’s August

NC TheGuardian

Photo: The Guardian

North Carolina and the Republican National Committee (RNC) must today agree on whether the state will host the party’s August 24 national convention.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, has indicated that unless the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s social distancing guidelines are relaxed by August, his administration does not want the 19,000-person gathering to happen. Cooper is facing pressure from President Donald Trump and the RNC to hold the convention without any social distancing or mask procedures in place, instead proceeding with the pre-pandemic terms agreed to by the state.

The deadline is indicative of a larger cultural conflict that has risen with the politicisation of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. If Cooper decides to cancel the convention, Florida’s and Georgia’s governors have indicated their willingness to act as hosts while following the RNC’s plan. If the convention is held, North Carolina could see an outbreak of COVID-19 cases at the event and possibly beyond it. Moreover, if it is cancelled and moved, Trump would likely use the event of cancellation to harass Cooper and Democratic leadership in the state.

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