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Cooper still says scaled-down GOP convention necessary

Cooper still says scaled-down GOP convention necessary
© Stefani Reynolds

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said he still wants his state to host the Republican convention in August in the city of Charlotte, but that it needs to be scaled back because of the coronavirus crisis.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE and the Republican National Committee (RNC) have repeatedly pushed back against the idea of a smaller convention, requesting that Cooper guarantee a "full convention," which would included "19,000 delegates, alternative delegates, staff, volunteers, elected officials inside the [Charlotte] Spectrum Center."

Cooper, in a letter to the RNC, said the party should at the least plan for something smaller.

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"The people of North Carolina do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August, so planning for a scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity," Cooper wrote in the letter Tuesday.

"As much as we want, the conditions surrounding COVID-19 to be favorable enough for you to hold the Convention you describe in August, it is very unlikely," he wrote. "Neither public health officials nor I will risk the health and safety of North Carolinians by providing the guarantee you seek."

Trump has called for the GOP to scout other locations for the convention, and a number of GOP governors have suggested their states.  

According to Politico, RNC officials are expected to travel to Nashville, Tenn., and other locations this weekend.

The GOP convention is scheduled for Aug. 24-27.