Politics & Policy

N.C. Gov Says Reopening Relies on ‘Data and Science’ after Trump Threat to Move Republican National Convention

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper in Providence, R.I., July 13, 2017 (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on Monday declined to say whether he will allow the Republican National Convention to move forward in August at full capacity after President Trump threatened to move it out of the state barring an immediate answer from the Democratic governor.

“State health officials are working with the RNC and will review its plans as they make decisions about how to hold the convention in Charlotte,” said Dory MacMillan, a spokesperson for the governor, on Monday. “North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state’s public health and safety.”

Trump wrote in a Monday tweet that he may move to relocate the convention, scheduled to take place in Charlotte, N.C. from August 24 to 27, if Cooper refused to guarantee that it would be allowed to occur at full capacity. The convention is expected to draw at least 50,000 people.

Cooper “is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed full attendance in the Arena,” Trump wrote. “In other words, we would be spending millions of dollars building the Arena to a very high standard without even knowing if the Democrat Governor would allow the Republican Party to fully occupy the space.”

Attendees “must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied,” the president continued. “If not, we will be reluctantly forced to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site. This is not something I want to do.”

North Carolina entered phase two of its reopening on Friday, when Cooper allowed more businesses including hair salons and restaurants to reopen. On Saturday, the state reported its largest one-day increase of positive cases.

Trump added in a later tweet that he has “zero interest” in moving the convention to the Trump National Doral Miami in Florida, saying he “would like to stay in N.C., whose gov. doesn’t even know if he can let people in?”

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