Coronavirus Memorial Day protests planned in North Carolina, Chicago

Then-candidate Trump speaking at the 2016 Republican National Convention

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.

Shortly after Kemp's offer, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) told reporters that he "would love" to have the Republican or even the Democratic convention in the Sunshine State, as either would bring in millions of dollars. "We are looking at these objective measures that everybody can see - that the public can examine".

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.

"We would be proud to host the Republican National Convention". "We're talking about something that's going to happen here months from now and we don't know what our situation is going to be regarding COVID 19 in North Carolina", he said. "We have reached out to Republican National Committee Chairman [Ronna McDaniel] to let her know that, if North Carolina falls through, Georgia is ready to help", Shafer told The Associated Press. "North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state's public health and safety". "Heck, I'm a Republican, it would be good for us to have the DNC in terms of the economic impact".

Michael Reed, an RNC spokesman, offered the same response the organization issued Monday when Trump tweeted his threat, saying that "we will need some answers sooner rather than later, or we will be forced to consider other options".

"We have a governor who doesn't want to open up the state", Trump said of Cooper, suggesting his hesitance was the result of political differences.

Late Tuesday, after Cooper's news briefing, Trump backed up his threat with a deadline: The president gave the governor a week to guarantee a convention without limits or the GOP would move it. "It's just the governor".


North Carolina's coronavirus caseload has continued to increase, with the highest one-day spike of more than 1,000 cases reported Friday by the state health department, though the number of reported cases fell to 176 on Tuesday.

President trump said if the RNC could not be held with full occupancy, he will move it to another place in August. The governor listed four major Florida cities he said could easily handle the convention.

Moving a convention isn't unprecedented, but it's been a long time. The last such change in plans came in 1972, when Republicans switched from San Diego to Miami Beach to avoid a controversy. But conventions have gotten vastly more complicated since then.

Planning for Charlotte has been going on for many months, according to Bill Harris, who has led or been involved with Republican convention planning going back to the 1980s. He's retired now, but told NPR he'd expect the plans are already in place for lodging, transportation and security for the massive event.

"You could do it, but the closer you get to the event itself, I mean, the harder it gets to do", he said.

Of course, as most Americans know all too well right now, long-term planning is almost impossible in the face of an unpredictable and, at least in modern times, unprecedented pandemic.

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