Dominoes within the GOP keep falling as more senators are reportedly choosing to forgo the Republican National Convention set to take place in Jacksonville, Florida next month.
According to the Washington Post, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) have now joined Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in opting out of their party’s convention as coronavirus cases continue surging across the country.
An aide for Collins told the Post that she will not travel to Jacksonville for the RNC next month, but denied that this is a change in plans due to how the Maine senator has never attended national conventions during years when she will appear on the ballot. Collins is up for re-election in November.
The offices of Collins, Murkowski and Romney did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.
The Post’s report comes hours after a spokesperson for Alexander told TPM in a statement earlier Tuesday that he won’t attend the Republican National Convention “because he believes the delegate spots should be reserved for those who have not had that privilege before as he has had.”
Alexander’s announcement came a week after he doubled down on his call for everyone, including President Trump, to wear a mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19, during a Senate coronavirus hearing.
Alexander became the second Republican planning to skip the event after Grassley told reporters a day before during a conference call that he wouldn’t attend the convention due to “the virus situation,” referring to spikes in coronavirus nationwide.
Last week, Jacksonville ordered the public to wear face masks in indoor and outdoor locations to slow the spread of COVID-19 as Florida continues experiencing a record spike in cases.
On Tuesday, Florida reported more than 7,000 more cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases statewide to 213,794.
The RNC was moved to Jacksonville after Gov. Roy Cooper (D) and Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles expressed health and safety concerns over holding the convention at its originally planned location of Charlotte, North Carolina amid the COVID-19 pandemic.