GOP Proposes COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Republican Convention in North Carolina

May 29, 2020 Updated: May 29, 2020

Republican party officials have sent a letter to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper requesting his urgent approval of a series of safety protocols for a key GOP convention, including thermal scans and “aggressive sanitizing,” so the event can be held safely and organized in a timely way.

“President Trump and the Republican National Committee want to hold a safe and successful 2020 Republican National Convention in the impressive City of Charlotte and the great State of North Carolina,” wrote the Republican National Committee chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, and the president of the convention committee, Marcia Lee Kelly, in the letter to Cooper, requesting a “partner in leadership to make this happen.”

McDaniel and Kelly gave Cooper a June 3 deadline to provide additional safety measures that he would need for state authorities to greenlight the event, adding, “time is of the essence.”

The letter seeks Cooper’s approval for eight measures the event organizers propose to reduce the risk of spreading the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, the novel coronavirus that emerged from China late last year and causes COVID-19. The measures include pre-travel health surveys, daily health care questionnaires, making anti-bacterial gel widely available, aggressive sanitizing of public zones, and “thermal scans of all mandatory attendees prior to boarding sanitized, pre-arranged transportation.”

Epoch Times Photo
The Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, is seen on November 13, 2019, the planned site of the 2020 Republican National Convention. (Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images)

The two signatories added that without “solid guidelines” and “full commitment” from state authorities for an in-person event, they will be unable to proceed with its organization.

The planned convention, at which the GOP will officially nominate President Donald Trump as its candidate in the November election, has been buffeted by uncertainty due to the pandemic.

Cooper, a Democrat, has taken a more cautious approach to reopening than Republican governors in neighboring states. He said the GOP convention would be treated like any other major event and decisions about how it could be held would be subject to infection-related data.

“This is not political. This is not emotional. This is based on health experts, data and science and that’s it for everybody to see,” Cooper told CNN. “No one is being favored or disfavored over the other.”

Trump has called on Cooper to provide assurances that a full in-person convention can be held, threatening to move the event to an alternate location.

“I love the Great State of North Carolina, so much so that I insisted on having the Republican National Convention in Charlotte at the end of August,” Trump said in a series of tweets on Monday. “Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed full attendance in the Arena.”

Trump added: “They must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied. If not, we will be reluctantly forced to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site.”

Cooper, who said he supports the GOP convention being held in Charlotte, asked convention planners earlier this week for a written plan on how they would address concerns about safety in the face of the pandemic.

“We’re ready to hold the RNC convention in North Carolina in a safe way. The health experts in our office have had conversations with people organizing the RNC about how to have it in a safe way,” Cooper said.

Sadie Weiner, communications director for Cooper, said the proposals in the letter were being considered.

“We are still waiting for a plan from the RNC, but our office will work with state health officials to review the letter and share a response tomorrow,” Weiner told CNN.

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