Trump will attend RNC in North Carolina to accept nomination

President Trump on Monday was pressed over his decision to abandon the portions of next month’s Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Fla., over coronavirus concerns, telling reporters that he plans to attend part of the pared-down proceedings in North Carolina.

Trump, who was in North Carolina to tour a biotech center helping to develop a potential vaccine for COVID-19, confirmed that he’ll be returning to North Carolina in late August as the party nominates him for president.

“The rest I'll do in different form,” he said. “We could've done it many different ways."

He added: “I think we did the right thing. I'm really happy to have a piece of it at least, very important piece in North Carolina.”

Trump was responding to a question from a reporter about whether he thought North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper made the right decision to not guarantee the RNC a full-fledged convention with an arena packed full of party officials, delegates and activists as desired by Trump because of fears of the coronavirus.

The RNC last month chose Jacksonville to host major portions of the convention, after largely abandoning the city of Charlotte, N.C., over disagreements on coronavirus-related restrictions.

But Trump last week announced that he was canceling the portions of the convention set to take place in Florida.

“The timing for this event is not right, it’s just not right,” Trump said during a press briefing at the White House. “To have a big convention, it’s just not the right time.”

Trump added: “There is nothing more important in our country than keeping our people safe.”

Even after moving most of the convention to Florida, the RNC had always planned to hold some business aspects of the gathering in Charlotte.

But the major prime-time events, such as the president's nomination acceptance speech, will likely move online.

"We're going to do some things with tele-rallies and online the week that we're discussing, which would be really good. I think we're going to do it well, Trump noted.

The Democrats have also dramatically downscaled their convention.

The Democratic National Convention, which was pushed back a month and is scheduled to start on Aug. 17, is still being held in Milwaukee.

But the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced last month that their confab will be conducted mostly online -- with delegates and Democratic members of Congress taking part in the convention virtually rather than in-person.

Commenting on the president's convention announcement, DNC chair Tom Perez charged that "unlike Trump, we followed the science, listened to doctors and public health experts, and worked through plans to protect lives. That’s how we made the decision to hold a responsible convention that will bring our country together, ensure our delegates can take care of official business without risk to public health, and still shine a spotlight on our host community of Milwaukee."

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