RNC chair McDaniel insists Jacksonville convention will be 'safe and healthy' after city mandates masks

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel joined “Fox & Friends” Tuesday to explain how the RNC plans to hold a safe convention in Jacksonville, Fla. this August despite the surge of coronavirus cases in the state.

“We’re going to … listen to the local authorities and we’re going to make sure this is a safe and healthy convention,” said McDaniel, who added that the RNC would “abide by what the mayor and the governor are saying.”

Over the weekend, hundreds of Florida sent a letter to Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and the city council that called for the RNC to be either “very significantly reduced in numbers” or postponed.

“Allowing this number of people to descend on Jacksonville is unequivocally provocative of disease, predictably harmful, and medically disrespectful to the citizens of this city, much less the rest of the country,” read the letter, which was first reported by First Coast News. On Monday, Jacksonville mandated the wearing of masks indoors as well as in outdoor locations where social distancing is not possible.


The business portion of the convention — at which President Trump is set to be officially nominated as the Republican candidate –­ will take place in Charlotte, N.C., while the celebratory portion will take place in Jacksonville. The big set-piece events were moved from North Carolina after a clash between the RNC and North Carolina officials over health restrictions.

“The difference with Charlotte is the governor would give us no guidance,” McDaniel said, “so we kept continually coming to him and saying, ‘We will test people, we will do this and that’ and he said, ‘I’m not going to give you any guidance.’

“And in Florida, it’s not about politics, it’s about health and safety.

“We’re going to test everybody,” she continued. “We’re going to have temperature checks, we’re going to sanitize.”

McDaniel added that personal protective equipment will be provided.

“We can do this in a safe way and not let politics get in the way, which unfortunately is what was happening in North Carolina,” she insisted.


“They understand we can do things in a healthy and safe way working together and unfortunately in North Carolina Governor [Roy] Cooper wouldn’t work with us at all, wouldn’t give us guidelines and it just wouldn’t have been fair to fly thousands of people into a city where, at that point, only ten people were allowed into any given building,” she continued.

“So we had to start moving forward and making plans and we’re working hand in hand with the officials in Florida, which isn’t what we were getting from just the governor in North Carolina.”

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.


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