President Trump made a very responsible, informed decision when he announced the Jacksonville, Florida, component of the Republican National Convention would be canceled.
Cases of the coronavirus are on the rise in the 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 during his daily briefing on Thursday. “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.”
Delegates to the convention will still meet in Charlotte, North Carolina, to hold small, formal business meetings as planned, but Trump’s keynote Jacksonville speech will no longer take place.
“We have to be vigilant. We have to be careful. And we also have to set an example. I think setting the example is very important. It’s hard for us to say we’re going to have a lot of people packed in a room and then other people shouldn’t do it,” Trump said, noting the party is still working out details for a different kind of event, scheduled for Aug. 24-27 — likely at least partially online.
Why did Trump change his mind about gathering in a large group? Was it his falling poll numbers? Was it the flack he received from Florida public officials, who admitted proper security could not be provided for the event? Was it an injection of caution and compassion?
Frankly, we don’t care what caused it; we are just pleased he is doing the right thing for his supporters, for the state of Florida and, ultimately, for the entire country. No gathering of that magnitude could have taken place without spreading COVID-19, not just to those who attend, but to everyone who would come in contact with participants. Hundreds, if not thousands, could have fallen ill and many would likely have died.
Meanwhile, the GOP’s business will be taken care of just as efficiently as if participants had met face to face. It won’t be as much fun as traveling to Florida would have been, but it will be far safer for everyone.