Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, advised a “wait and see” approach for now on whether it will be possible to hold the Democratic and Republican conventions currently scheduled for August, given the coronavirus pandemic.
“What I think we need to do is reserve judgment right now to see what the situation would be,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said in a CNN interview Wednesday. “We’re still a few months from there.”
Fauci says it's too soon to decide about canceling political conventions for the fall amid pandemic. "We need to reserve judgment right now because we're still a few months from there," he said. pic.twitter.com/mnjl79LW3V
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) May 27, 2020
In order to safely gather during the conventions, the number of new cases and hospitalizations observed would need to be “really very low,” Fauci said. “Hopefully we will see that diminution,” he added.
Fauci’s comments follow a series of tweets directed at North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) by President Trump on Monday that threatened to relocate this year’s Republican National Convention if the Democratic governor couldn’t “guarantee” Republicans would be allowed full capacity of the arena in Charlotte.
Trump’s demand for an immediate green light seems to undermine ongoing uncertainty about just what the landscape of the pandemic will look like in the coming months as public health officials continue to study the crisis and provide best guess projections.
While Democrats, who rescheduled their event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from July to August, have said the risks of meeting in person during the pandemic may mean that their convention will need to convene virtually, Republicans have largely remained steadfast with intentions to meet in-person, without a roadmap for how to navigate a large gathering in a health crisis that continues to unfold.
“We’re talking about something that’s going to happen three months from now, and we don’t know what our situation is going to be,” Cooper said at a news conference on Tuesday, according to ABC News. The number of coronavirus cases in North Carolina continues to rise, with total deaths reaching 789 as of early Wednesday.
Meanwhile governors in Florida and Georgia each offered up their own states in tweets Tuesday to host the convention despite contractual obligations two years in the making for the event to be held in North Carolina. These moves are likely to increase pressure on a state that has only just begun a phase to reopen that allows indoor gatherings of up to 10 people at a time.