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President Trump Cancels Jacksonville Portion Of Republican National Convention

President Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House Thursday.
Evan Vucci AP
President Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House Thursday.

Updated at 5:56 p.m. ET

The Jacksonville, Fla., component of the Republican National Convention has been canceled, President Trump announced on Thursday, as cases of the coronavirus continue to spike across that state.

"I looked at my team and I said the timing for this event is not right. It's just not right with what's been happening," Trump said at the daily coronavirus briefing.


"They said 'Sir, we can make this work very easily.' ... I said there's nothing more important in our country than keeping our people safe, whether it's from the China virus or the radical left mob."

Trump's last-minute decision to cancel the event follows a mad scramble by the Republican Party over the last few months to try and hold a conventional party gathering despite the ongoing pandemic that has already killed more than 140,000 Americans.

Delegates to the convention will still meet in Charlotte, N.C., as planned, but Trump's keynote Jacksonville speech will no longer take place.

A Thursday Quinnipiac University opinion poll of Florida voters shows that 62% of respondents thought it would be unsafe to hold a convention in the state, compared with 34% who thought it could be managed safely.

Just on Monday, the sheriff of Duval County said that his officers would be unable to provide security for the convention based on poor planning for the event and a lack of funding.


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