“I’m not going to go. And I’m not going to go because of the virus situation,” Grassley said on Monday morning in a conference call with reporters, reported the Des Moines Register.
Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, added that he will visit 29 Iowa counties over the next two weeks as part of his annual 99-county tour of Iowa, the outlet reported. He and his staff will wear face masks at all the events.
He also said that he has attended every RNC since 1980 when he was elected to the Senate. This year will mark the first time he will skip the convention in 40 years.
The convention is scheduled for Aug. 24-27 in Jacksonville, Florida. President Donald Trump is expected to accept the Republican party’s nomination for reelection.
Grassley, 86, is the oldest Republican senator.
The convention was moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, after the state refused to guarantee that the event could be held without social distancing measures amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.
Jacksonville started to require face masks in late June for public and indoor locations as well as other places where people can’t socially distance. At the time, city officials said they had yet to decide whether to mandate masks for the RNC convention.
Florida reported 11,458 new cases on July 4—a single-day record for the state. The state has reported a total of 3,778 deaths related to the CCP virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CCP virus can cause mild to severe symptoms in those who contract COVID-19. Symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and even fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, a new loss of taste or smell, sore throat congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
Older adults and those with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, appear to be at higher risk of having more serious complications from COVID-19.
The CCP virus first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in early December of 2019, and is in the same family of pathogens that cause the flu and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).