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North Carolina hasn't received RNC's plans on how it will hold convention safely amid coronavirus pandemic

Brian Murphy, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on

Published in News & Features

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday the organizers of the Republican National Convention have not submitted plans to his administration about how it would operate the convention in the state during the pandemic.

The convention is scheduled for Aug. 24-27 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte.

"We're ready to hold the RNC convention in North Carolina in a safe way," Cooper, a Democrat, said in a press briefing Thursday.

He said health experts from his office have been talking with organizers for months about how to have it in a safe way.

On Monday, President Donald Trump threatened to move the convention from Charlotte unless Republicans are "immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied." The next day, Trump said he needed "a fast decision from the governor."

"He's been acting very, very slowly and very suspiciously, but we'll find out. We're talking about a very short period of time," Trump told reporters. "I would say within a week that certainly we have to know."


In the weeks before NASCAR hosted its May 24th Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the organization submitted plans to the state, Cooper said. Health experts gave feedback and NASCAR incorporated changes in its successful race weekend, he said. Cooper said similar conversations are underway with the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and the NFL's Carolina Panthers.

He said convention organizers have not submitted a plan.

"We're not on any timeline here. We want to work with them. We look forward to them submitting plans to us," he said. "We have yet to see them."

While organizations are making plans to hold events in the state, the number of statewide coronavirus-related hospitalizations reached an all-time high Thursday for the second day in a row.


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