FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump pauses in front of a diagram while touring the Ford Rawsonville Components Plant, which is making ventilators and medical supplies, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Ypsilanti, Michigan, U.S., May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Monday that he may move the Republican National Convention from North Carolina set for August if the event faces state social distancing restrictions as a result of the coronavirus.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden to halt campaign rallies. Some have raised concerns that the large formal nominating conventions that are typically packed with delegates could raise safety issues.
Trump said on Twitter that if Democratic Governor Roy Cooper does not immediately answer “whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied,” then the party will find “with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site.”
The conventions include prime-time TV speeches that serve to kick off the final sprint toward the November presidential election. The Republican event is set to start Aug. 24 in Charlotte.
Cooper’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Democratic National Convention, which was postponed by a month because of the coronavirus, is set to begin Aug. 17 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
A spokeswoman for the DNC event said earlier this month “we continue to remain in constant communication with federal, state, and local public health officials and will follow their guidance to determine how many people can safely gather in Milwaukee this August.”
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Nick Zieminski