President Donald Trump is reportedly insisting the 2020 Republican National Convention be held without any implemented social distancing measures and without the presence of facial coverings, a spokesperson for North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday.
According to CNN, on a phone call with Cooper on Friday, the president had insisted that the convention, currently slated to take place August 24-27 at The Spectrum Center in Charlotte, should be held without the measures meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The Governor spoke to the President today. When the President insisted on a full convention arena with no face coverings and no social distancing the Governor expressed concerns and suggested a scaled back event with fewer attendees,” Sadie Weiner, a spokeswoman for Cooper, said in a statement. “They agreed to continue talking about ways to have a safe convention in Charlotte.”
The White House did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment on Saturday.
As Business Insider previously reported, Trump on Tuesday threatened to pull the convention out of North Carolina unless the state allowed the GOP to hold the event at full capacity. The Spectrum Center has a capacity of just over 20,000.
“I love the Great State of North Carolina, so much so that I insisted on having the Republican National Convention in Charlotte at the end of August,” the president tweeted earlier this week. “Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed.”
While all 50 US states have begun the process of rescinding stay-at-home orders, state leaders have ordered re-opened businesses to continue to practice social distancing in their establishments. Since April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that facial coverings be worn in public settings.
The president has refused to wear a face mask in public, reportedly over his fears he would look ridiculous and it would harm his chances of getting reelected in November. On Thursday, the president shared a tweet that argued that mandated facial coverings represented a “culture of silence, slavery, and social death.”
Trump’s insistence of an in-person convention comes as health experts and US officials continue to warn of a potential second wave of COVID-19 in the fall and winter later this year.
Several states, including Texas and Georgia, have offered to step in and host the convention if the president and Republicans decide to relocate outside of North Carolina. Vice President Mike Pence suggested in an interview on Fox News that Texas, Georgia, and Florida could be considered to hold the convention.
Earlier this year, the Democratic National Committee pushed its conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from July to August, though DNC members are also hopeful they can hold the convention in-person.