Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a news conference on Monday he is sending a letter to the executive director of the Republican Party of Texas to "strongly encourage" the GOP to cancel its in-person convention on July 16.
"I believe canceling the in-person convention is the responsible action to take while we are in a critical moment in our battle against the COVID-19 pandemic," Turner said. "The virus continues to spread in our community, and we must protect the employees, the people who are in our city, visiting our city, as best as possible."
"In this city, all other conferences and conventions have canceled or been rescheduled to next year with the exception of one ... and that is the state Republican convention," he added.
Turner said hosting the convention in Houston at this time is a "bad idea."
"I am going to call on the sponsors of this particular convention to join in with us in asking the state Republican Executive Committee to cancel their plans to have an in-person convention in the city of Houston at this time, and I would strongly, strongly recommend that it be a virtual event," he said.
Houston Health Department Dr. David E. Persse also called on the Republican party in Texas to reconsider their position.
"Today, we have over 500 people in intensive care units in Harris County. And there is another over 1,300, I believe today, people admitted to local hospitals that are sick enough to be admitted to hospitals," Persse said. "Another large event like this, which known as a 'super spreader' event, is probably not the most responsible thing to do."
"I think the wise, prudent thing to do would be for the Republican Party in Texas to reconsider their position, keeping in mind their members and the people who will be supporting that event," Persse added.