Balloons and confetti fall on then-GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence on the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 21, 2016. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo
March 25 (UPI) -- The Republican Party said its national nominating convention scheduled for Charlotte, N.C., in August will go on, even while more events are being canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The convention is scheduled for four days beginning Aug. 24 at Charlotte's Spectrum Center, with preparation of the site to begin in mid-July. GOP leaders said Tuesday, as of now, the plan is to stage the full convention.
"We are fully committed to holding the Republican convention in Charlotte as planned and re-nominating President [Donald] Trump," said Richard Walters, the Republican National Committee chief of staff. "We have not had any substantive conversations about alternative scenarios."
Convention CEO Marcia Lee Kelly said there will be "additional steps to ensure the safety and health of all attendees," but didn't specify such measures. The party announced commitments of $51 million for the convention, toward a goal of $65 million.
The party reaffirmed its commitment to the Charlotte event on the same day officials officially postponed the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
North Carolina's Mecklenburg County, which includes Charlotte, has so far reported nearly 150 positive tests for the COVID-19 virus. The county is now under a stay-at-home order, a state of emergency and an order prohibiting "mass gatherings" of 50 or more people.
The Democratic National Convention, scheduled for Milwaukee in July, is also scheduled to be held as planned, Democratic Party officials said last week.
"There's a lot of uncertainty around the virus," said Xochitl Hinojosa, Democratic National Committee communications director. "No one knows how long it will last. We are taking things day-to-day at this point and as the Secret Service and health professionals give guidance, we'll take that guidance."
The Democratic Party must still conclude its primary contests, however, which have been postponed in multiple states due to the outbreak. Candidate Joe Biden, the party's presumed nominee, leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by a wide margin in the delegate count.