The Republican National Committee, Trump campaign, and host committee are moving “full steam ahead” in planning the 2020 convention in Charlotte later this summer, but will assess in late June or early July as to whether contingencies need to be made due to the coronavirus, GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Monday.
“We are full steam ahead planning a traditional convention, working with our team on the ground, (2020 Convention CEO) Marcia Lee Kelly, to conduct a traditional convention. We do not think at this time we have to switch to an alternative plan, but of course, we will monitor circumstances and adjust accordingly,” McDaniel told reporters on a briefing call.
She continued, “We don’t build out our convention until July. So I think we have at least until the end of June or early July to make a decision if we have to switch from a traditional convention to something scaled back. But we will have to have an in-person convention. Those are the bylaws of the RNC and so currently, going forward, we’re planning on a full-scale convention.”
The convention is currently scheduled for August 24-27 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
It remains unclear what an adjusted GOP convention could look like and how social distancing guidelines will be observed in the coming months. A “traditional convention” typically consists of thousands of supporters packed into an arena, including key party officials, during the formal nomination process.
“As we have done throughout our planning, we will continue to ensure the convention prioritizes the health and safety of delegates, media, guests and community members. We recognize all major public events will require new processes and protective measures in response to Covid-19, and we are engaged with the relevant groups who will be helping to develop those guidelines to ensure we host a healthy and safe convention here in Charlotte,” said 2020 Republican National Convention President and CEO Marcia Lee Kelly in a statement.
Earlier this month, the Democratic National Convention was pushed back from mid-July to the week of August 17 amid the health crisis.
Asked whether campaign rallies would resume this summer, McDaniel said Monday there were “no plans right now,” nor are any rallies being scheduled, but it is their hope rally campaigning can resume.
“We’re going to take into account the three phases of opening the government and make sure that everybody’s safety is in place and we’re following the guidelines with the federal government, the state government, the local governments are laying out. Hopefully we can rally again, hopefully we’ll get to a place where we can campaign again,” she said.
Her comments come days after President Donald Trump told reporters in the briefing room he also hopes to resume rallies but wouldn’t want to do so if the current six-feet social distancing protocols needed to be followed: “It loses, to me, a lot of flavor.”
McDaniel also suggested that the RNC will be complementing White House and campaign messaging on Trump’s coronavirus response and continuing to “push back” on narratives it perceives as unfair. “We will continue to push the timeline of actual facts and responsiveness of this administration as we have battled this unforeseen crisis,” she said.