President Donald Trump will accept the Republican party’s nomination as the 2020 presidential contender in private, according to a Republican National Committee official, out of the eye of the public and without reporters in attendance.
The New York Post reports that, after months of going back and forth on convention plans, the final vote to nominate Trump to face off against former Vice President Joe Biden, will be held with just the state delegates present in an effort to limit potential exposure to the novel coronavirus.
“Given the health restrictions and limitations in place within the state of North Carolina, we are planning for the Charlotte activities to be closed press Friday, Aug. 21 – Monday, Aug. 24,” a convention spokesperson told media on Saturday. “We are happy to let you know if this changes, but we are working within the parameters set before us by state and local guidelines regarding the number of people who can attend events.”
Although the nomination vote is typically a media spectacle, the RNC has yet to figure out how to allow reporters, who may come from states and cities where the virus is surging, to cover the event. The spokesperson told media that “no final decision has been made and we are still working through logistics and press coverage options.”
Not all 336 delegates will be present for the vote, the Post adds. Many will be voting by proxy because they cannot or will not travel to Charlotte, North Carolina for the official ceremony.
The Republican National Convention has undergone a series of changes as the coronavirus pandemic receded and then resurfaced. Initially, the entire convention was set to take place in Charlotte, but North Carolina’s governor called a halt to a full event, noting that expected crowds would exceed the maximum number of individuals allowed to gather under restrictions designed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Then, President Trump announced that the nominating ceremony and final speeches would move to Jacksonville, Florida, where authorities were less restrictive. That plan fell flat when cases of coronavirus began to surge in Florida a month ago.
“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,’” the president said at a press briefing last month. “To have a big convention, it’s 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.”
We won’t do a big, crowded convention, per se. It’s just not the right time for that,” Trump added, noting that the White House made the decision to cancel the Florida events, not Florida government officials.
Now, it appears the most significant part of the convention, the nominating process, will take place in a closed environment. Trump will accept the nomination in a televised speech on the final night of the convention.
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