RNC To Move Convention Outdoors As GOP Lawmakers Continue Dropping Out

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 23: Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, is interviewed during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in Oxon Hill, Md., on February 23, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, is interviewed during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Md., on February 23, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
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July 14, 2020 2:49 p.m.

Republican officials are reportedly planning to move the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Jacksonville, Florida outdoors as concerns mount over the high risk of infection amid COVID-19.

Convention planners made the decision to do so following a meeting with President Donald Trump on Monday evening, according to the New York Times.

The convention is currently slated to take place on August 24-27 in Jacksonville’s VyStar Arena, an indoor venue that can hold up to 15,000 people. The Times reported on Tuesday that GOP officials are looking at two outdoor venues near the arena. The Washington Post reported last week that RNC officials were mulling moving the event to an outdoor stadium, just days after Florida lawyers filed a lawsuit against the city of Jacksonville for holding the event.

A GOP official involved in organizing the event told TPM in an emailed statement that the party is “planning for multiple scenarios and various health precautions.”

“We had already contracted with several venues around the Vystar, including multiple outdoor venues,” said the official.

Multiple Republican lawmakers have said they will not attend the RNC, including several of Florida’s own representatives, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Francis Rooney (R-FL).

“Everybody just assumes no one is going,” Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), an honorary co-chair of the Trump campaign in Illinois, told the Times on Monday.

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