President Trump announced on Thursday evening that he has canceled the Jacksonville, Florida, portion of the Republican National Convention because "the timing for this is not right" and he has to "protect the American people."
The convention, slated for late August, was originally going to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina. After GOP officials and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) could not agree on social distancing measures, it was decided that official party business would still take place in Charlotte, but the parties and programs were moved to Jacksonville.
Trump told reporters that on Thursday afternoon, he "looked at my team and I said the timing for this event is not right, just not right with what's happened recently." The formal nominating process will still proceed in Charlotte, Trump said, and he will give some sort of acceptance speech.
Florida is seeing a surge in coronavirus cases, and earlier this week, Duval County Sheriff Mike Williams shared with Politico his concerns over being able to provide adequate security for the event, which was still not fully planned. One GOP official told The Washington Post Trump's advisers told him that if he canceled the Florida part of the convention and showed he took the coronavirus seriously, it could help his sinking poll numbers.
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