After Trump insists a full-scale in-person convention be held in the state, Roy Cooper prioritizes safety measures.
North Carolina’s governor said Thursday that his administration hasn’t received the written safety plan for the upcoming Republican National Convention requested by his health secretary in response to President Donald Trump‘s demands for a full-scale event.
Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said during a media briefing that RNC organizers have yet to turn over written plans for how they envision safely holding the convention in Charlotte in August amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re ready to hold the RNC convention in North Carolina in a safe way. And for weeks and months, the health experts in our office have had conversations with the people organizing the RNC about how to have it in a safe way,” he said.
But despite the request Monday, Cooper said: “We’ve yet to see” a written safety plan from RNC organizers.
Cooper said his administration required a similar written plan from NASCAR ahead of its recent race in the Charlotte area that was held without fans. He said he’s in similar discussions with sports teams including Charlotte’s NFL and NBA teams.
Trump threatened in a tweet Monday to move the RNC unless Cooper could guarantee a full-capacity gathering. Then on Tuesday, Trump reiterated the idea by saying he wanted an answer from Cooper within a week, or he’d be forced to consider moving the convention somewhere else. Florida and Georgia’s governors have said they’re interested in hosting.
Asked about Trump’s demand for an answer within a week, Cooper told reporters: “We’re not on any timeline here.”
Cooper has gradually eased business restrictions, with restaurants now allowed to offer limited indoor dining. But entertainment venues, bars, and gyms remain closed under his current order that also caps indoor mass gatherings at 10 people.
Local Republican officials have noted that Trump isn’t a party to the convention contract and doesn’t appear to have the power to unilaterally move the event, which is scheduled to start in 90 days after two years of planning.
The county surrounding Charlotte has had the most virus cases of any in North Carolina, and the state is experiencing an upward trend in cases.