Will Republicans follow through with plans for a huge in-person national convention in Florida this August? Might be too early to say due to the coronavirus risks, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
"We will have to wait and see how things look in late August to determine whether or not we can safely convene that many people," McConnell said Thursday, according to the New York Post.
"I think the convention is a challenging situation and a number of my colleagues have announced that they are not going to attend."
McConnell, 78, is a survivor of polio and has been a leading Republican proponent of mask-wearing, per the report.
Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Mitt Romney, R-Utah have already announced they will not attend.
Some are avoiding the event because of the global coronavirus pandemic and their vulnerability at advanced, at-risk ages, but Murkowski and Romney have already signaled they will not be supporting President Donald Trump's reelection campaign.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said society must continue to "move forward," giving no indication he was considering a change in his COVID-19 policy on a day when reported deaths hit a record in his state.
"We need our society to function," he said Thursday from Jacksonville. "We need our society to continue to move forward."
DeSantis addressed COVID-19 in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, where reported cases have been surging. But DeSantis said the state recently tested 57,000 long-term care staff members and found a 2.3% positivity rate, which he said was low.
Trump has been adamant about holding an in-person, with hopes for a capacity crowd for his speech accepting the party nod for the November race. He had already moved the speech to Jacksonville, Florida, because North Carolina remained steadfast in its plan to maintain social distancing and other requirements to check the virus' spread.
"We're still moving forward with Jacksonville," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday. "It'll be a safe event. It will be a good event. And it will be up to the RNC as to how those details are hashed out."
Information from Bloomberg was used in this report.
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