Trump cancels Jacksonville component of GOP convention due to coronavirus concerns

During a news conference at the White House on Thursday, President Trump said the Jacksonville portion of the Republican National Convention will be canceled because of concerns over the coronavirus.

Video Transcript

DONALD TRUMP: This afternoon, my political team came to me and laid out our plans for the convention in Jacksonville, Florida. It's a place I love. I love that state. The drawings look absolutely beautiful. I never thought we could have something look so good, so fast with everything going on.

And everything was going well-- a tremendous list of speakers, thousands of people wanting to be there-- and I mean, in some cases, desperately be there. They wanted to attend, people making travel arrangements all over the country. They wanted to be there. The pageantry, the signs, the excitement were really, really top of the line.

But I looked at my team, and I said, the timing for this event is not right. It's just not right with what's happened-- recently, the flare-up in Florida. To have a big convention is not the right time. It's really something that, for me, I have to protect the American people. That's what I've always done. That's what I always will do. That's what I'm about.

They said, sir, we can make this work very easily. We have great enthusiasm, incredible enthusiasm. Even the polls say we've got the most enthusiasm they've seen. We can do this safely, and we can do it responsibly. And I said there's nothing more important in our country than keeping our people safe.

So I told my team it's time to cancel the Jacksonville, Florida component of the GOP convention. It will be starting in North Carolina for the Monday, as has always been planned. We were never taking that off. That's remaining as it is. The delegates are going to get together. That's where they do their nomination.

So the delegates are going to North Carolina. And they'll be doing the nomination. And we're going to do some other things with telerallies and online the week that we're discussing, which will be really good. I think we're going to do it well.

And 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. I care deeply about the people of Florida and everywhere else, frankly, in this country, and even in the world, who would be coming into the state. And I don't want to do anything to upset it.