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Pence suggests convention could change as COVID rages

Emma Kinery and Mario Parker, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Mike Pence suggested Wednesday the Republican National Committee is considering changes to its nominating convention and will prioritize the health of convention attendees as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Florida.

"With regard to the convention, I can tell you it is a work in progress. The president's indicated that we'll be flexible," he said in a call with reporters.

Pence said the party will consult with health officials, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis about the appropriate structure, but that "there is consideration being given to having the convention at an outdoor setting."

"We'll put the health of everyone participating first," he added.

Pence said the RNC will release details in the upcoming days on what protective measures will be implemented.

Pence urged Americans to listen to local and state guidance on protective health measures such as wearing a mask.

"The American people are demonstrating all across the country that we're opening up again and as Americans continue, particularly, in the impacted areas to take those steps, to heed state and local guidance, to wash your hands, practice good hygiene, wear a mask when it's indicated by state and local officials and also to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible."

 

Florida reported 15,300 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the largest single-day spike of any state. As of Tuesday, a cumulative 291,629 people had been infected in the state since the pandemic began. Deaths have also been rising, with a peak of 132 fatalities reported in a single day on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump last month nixed plans to hold the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, as initially slated, after the governor said the RNC would have to institute social distancing and mandatory face masks. Official business will still be held in Charlotte, but the nomination will be moved to Jacksonville.

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