Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called his party’s plans for a 2020 convention “a challenging situation,” suggesting President Donald Trump’s dreams of a large, in-person gathering in Jacksonville, Florida, might not come to fruition.
“A number of my colleagues have announced that they’re not going to attend, and we’ll have to wait and see how things look in late August and determine whether or not you can safely convene that many people,” McConnelltold reporters in Kentucky on Thursday when asked if he planned to attend the event.
Trump recently relocated the bulk of his party’s convention to Jacksonville, which last week had the fastest-growing rate of coronavirus cases of any metropolitan area in the U.S., according to Evercore ISI. Republicans had previously planned to hold the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, but changed course after that state’s governor, Democrat Roy Cooper, balked at holding a full-capacity gathering due to the outbreak.
At least six Republican senators — Iowa’s Chuck Grassley, Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander, Utah’s Mitt Romney, Kansas’s Pat Roberts, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, and Maine’s Susan Collins — aren’t planning to attend the Florida gathering, according to variousmedia reports.
A spokesman for McConnell said earlier this week he would attend the event.
Trump is planning his next campaign rally in New Hampshire on Saturday.
The Democratic National Convention is scheduled for the week beginning Aug. 17 in Milwaukee, while the Republicans are slated to meet a week later with events in Charlotte and Jacksonville.
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