Donald Trump poured cold water on speculation that the GOP convention scheduled for August may be canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
“No way I’m going to cancel the convention,” Trump told Fox’s Sean Hannity on Thursday. “We are at the end of August. I think we’ll be in great shape long before then.”
The Democrat primary race has been rocked by the coronavirus crisis. Multiple states have been forced to postpone their primaries or opt to vote exclusively by mail, leading to low voter turnout. Social distancing rules have forced Democrats to get creative. The Texas Democrat Party has moved its convention — the largest in the country — to an exclusively online format.
DNC chairman Tom Perez said on Monday that the party is “planning for every eventuality and safety,” signaling that the National event could still be in jeopardy. The DNC is scheduled for mid-July.
“We still have roughly four months until the convention and so we will continue to be in regular contact with all of the relevant stakeholders, including but not limited to public health professionals federally and at a state and local level in Wisconsin,” he continued.
In contrast, Michael Whatley, chairman of the RNC, said over the weekend that the organization is “firmly committed” to holding the event as of right now.
“However, the RNC is closely monitoring conditions regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and is working closely with federal, state, and local governments in order to determine whether they will need to make any changes to the schedule,” he concluded.
Re-opening the economy
Though projections for how long the coronavirus could impact the US have ranged from several weeks to 18 months, the White House has moved towards a shorter timeline in recent days.
Donald Trump has made headlines with his ambitious plan to have the economy re-opened by Easter, which falls on April 12th — Just four weeks into the CDC-recommended social distancing program.
Trump drew criticism for hoping to open up the economy too soon, but White House task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx seems to cautiously agree with the president — with some reservations.
Birx said on Thursday that some of the more severe coronavirus predictions don’t hold water anymore. “There’s no model right now, no reality on the ground, where we can see that 60-70 percent of Americans are going to get infected in the next 10-12 weeks,” she said.
She disclosed on Thursday that the White House is working on new guidelines that will be “a laser-focused approached rather than a generic horizontal approach” to quarantines and testing, allowing the less-vulnerable parts of the country to get back to work sooner rather than later.