Organizers of the upcoming Republican National Convention are considering moving some of its events in Jacksonville, Florida, to outdoor venues as coronavirus infections continue to climb, according to a spokesperson.
"We are planning for multiple scenarios and various health precautions," the RNC spokesperson, speaking anonymously, confirmed to CBNC.
Organizers have "already contracted" with venues outside the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, an indoor venue where the convention is scheduled to be held, the CNBC source added.
The plans to move outdoors were made Monday night when President Donald Trump met with political advisers, The New York Times reports. However, even if the events go outside for safety reasons, officials are not sure if capacity crowds will be allowed to attend, or if there will be restrictions to keep people from crowding together.
Initially, the convention was to have been held in Charlotte, North Carolina, but President Donald Trump dropped plans to accept his nomination there after Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper would not commit to allowing large gatherings with restrictions in place.
In the weeks since it was decided to move the major part of the convention to Jacksonville, the state began reporting record numbers of positive COVID infections and Tuesday reported the highest daily increase of deaths of Florida residents since the pandemic started.
Moving outdoors for the convention, scheduled for Aug. 24-27, could pose another set of problems if Florida's hot, humid weather does not cooperate. There is always the chance a hurricane could spoil the party, with the National Weather Service predicting a busy Atlantic Ocean hurricane season this year.
Past convention organizers also are saying they are skeptical the GOP can pull off the convention, given such short notice.
"My personal opinion is planning a traditional convention of the size and scale that you normally see, in a two-month period, is not possible," said Joe Roman, former vice president of the Cleveland Host Committee, which organized the RNC convention in 2016. "There are so many dots that have to get connected to pull this off."
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