NC Gov: No RNC Safety Plan 05/29 06:22
(AP) -- North Carolina's governor said Thursday that his administration
hasn't received the written safety plan for the upcoming Republican National
Convention requested by his health secretary in response to President Donald
Trump's demands for a full-scale event.
Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said during a media briefing that RNC
organizers have yet to turn over written plans for how they envision safely
holding the convention in Charlotte in August amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Top
GOP officials countered in a letter that they need more guidance and assurances
North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen sent a letter
Monday to the top RNC organizer asking for the written plans after Trump
demanded in a tweet that North Carolina guarantee a full-scale, in-person
convention will be held. Cooper and Cohen say that they had discussed various
scenarios with convention organizers but want their plan in writing.
"We're ready to hold the RNC convention in North Carolina in a safe way. And
for weeks and months, the health experts in our office have had conversations
with the people organizing the RNC about how to have it in a safe way," he said.
But despite the request Monday, Cooper said: "We've yet to see" a written
safety plan from RNC organizers.
Cooper said his administration required a similar written plan from NASCAR
ahead of its recent race in the Charlotte area that was held without fans. He
said he's in similar discussions with sports teams including Charlotte's NFL
and NBA teams.
Top GOP officials later released a letter they sent to Cooper on Thursday
saying they need further direction and assurances from him to move forward. The
letter also offers several proposed steps to screen and protect convention
"We still do not have solid guidelines from the state and cannot in good
faith ask thousands of visitors to begin paying deposits and making travel
plans without knowing the full commitment of the governor, elected officials
and other stakeholders in supporting the convention," said the letter.
It was signed by Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and
Republican National Convention President Marcia Lee Kelly.
The letter, which doesn't represent a finalized safety plan, proposes steps
including apps asking attendees daily health questions, taking attendees'
temperature before they board transportation, health checks again at the NBA
arena serving as the center of the convention and aggressive cleaning and
sanitizing of public areas.
Trump threatened in a tweet Monday to move the convention unless Cooper
guarantees a full-capacity gathering. Then on Tuesday, Trump reiterated the
idea by saying he wanted an answer from Cooper within a week, or he'd be forced
to consider moving the convention somewhere else. Florida and Georgia's
governors have said they're interested in hosting
Asked about Trump's demand for an answer within a week, Cooper told
reporters: "We're not on any timeline here."
Cooper has gradually eased business restrictions, with restaurants now
allowed to offer limited indoor dining. But entertainment venues, bars and gyms
remain closed under his current order that also caps indoor mass gatherings at
Local Republican officials have noted that Trump isn't a party to the
convention contract and doesn't appear to have the power to unilaterally move
the event, which is scheduled to start in 90 days after two years of planning.
The county surrounding Charlotte has had the most virus cases of any in
North Carolina, and the state is experiencing an upward trend in cases.