Jacksonville, new site for President Trump's convention speech, will require masks in public, indoors

  • In Politics
  • 2020-06-29 21:09:46Z
Jacksonville, new site for President Trump\
Jacksonville, new site for President Trump\'s convention speech, will require masks in public, indoors  

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville, where the Republican National Committee moved the party's convention so President Donald Trump could accept the GOP nomination in a packed arena, announced Monday that it is requiring face masks in public and indoor locations.

City officials said they haven't decided whether to require masks during the convention, which is scheduled Aug. 24-27. The policy also applies to anyone else who can't socially distance. The mask order goes into effect Monday evening.

The RNC backed out of Charlotte, North Carolina, this month and picked Jacksonville as the main site for the convention after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles wouldn't commit to allowing a full convention because of health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The move by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, a Republican who pushed for the convention and has opposed a mask mandate, comes as Florida has become one of the new epicenters in the coronavirus outbreak.

More: Faced with coronavirus, Republican and Democratic leaders overhaul convention plans

The state announced 8,530 new coronavirus cases Sunday, marking the third straight day of more than 8,000 new cases in the state.

An RNC spokesperson said the committee is "committed to holding a safe convention that fully complies with local health regulations in place at the time," noting that the event is still two months away. The spokesperson said the RNC has a "good working relationship" with Jacksonville and Florida leaders and will continue to coordinate with them ahead of the convention.

Face masks have become a flashpoint in the political fight surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Although medical experts advise the public to wear them to prevent the spread of the virus, Trump has not worn masks publicly. Crowds at his first two large public events events since the coronavirus outbreak began, a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a gathering in Phoenix, included some people who wore masks but thousands who didn't.

Trump's election opponent, Democrat Joe Biden, said last week that he would use federal powers to require face masks in public.

The RNC chose Jacksonville before Florida's surge in coronavirus cases. In retreating from Charlotte, the RNC cited North Carolina's social distancing rule that prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people in a room. Trump and Republican have sought a "full convention" - one that would allow Trump to address an arena full of supporters like he did four years ago in Cleveland.

The RNC's party business will remain in Charlotte, but officials are planning for the "celebration," including Trump's acceptance speech, to take place in Jacksonville.

More: Jacksonville, Florida, emerges as front-runner for Republican National Convention

How Jacksonville plans to enforce the new measure remains unclear.

Curry spokeswoman Nikki Kimbleton said city officials are still finalizing the plan. Kimbleton said the city's Naval Air Station's recent decision to make masks mandatory, as well as consultation with local health care leaders, played a role in the city's decision.

Curry was not present at a news conference announcing the new policy. His chief of staff, Jordan Elsbury, said he had an "important family commitment."

Jacksonville remains in Phase 2 of the reopening guidelines established by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Restrictions limit capacity of auditoriums, entertainment venues and restaurants and bars to 50% of capacity.

Reach Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: RNC: Jacksonville, where Trump will speak, is now requiring masks


More Related News

Donald Trump orders creation of national heroes garden
Donald Trump orders creation of national heroes garden

Angry at the toppling of statues, President Trump wants US heroes honoured in a new national garden.

Carl Reiner
Carl Reiner's Daughter Tweets Final Dig At Donald Trump On Her Late Father's Behalf

The late comedy legend often took the president to task on the platform.

Neil Young Condemns Donald Trump
Neil Young Condemns Donald Trump's Use Of His Music At Mount Rushmore Event

The rock icon was not happy after his songs were played at Trump's Independence Day celebration at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.
Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.'s girlfriend, tests positive for coronavirus

Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is dating the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for the novel coronavirus while in South Dakota. "Donald Trump Jr was tested negative, but as a precaution is also self isolating and is canceling all public events." Trump Jr., 42, and Guilfoyle

Lindsey Graham Uses Benghazi to Defend Trump on Russian Bounties
Lindsey Graham Uses Benghazi to Defend Trump on Russian Bounties

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was among the loudest Republican voices in Congress screaming about the attack on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya back in 2012. But he apparently has no problem with President Donald Trump's decision to ignore intelligence about Russian bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan. In fact, during a Thursday morning appearance on Fox & Friends, Graham actually used the Benghazi attack to defend Trump and accuse his Democratic colleagues of hypocrisy.After co-host Brian Kilmeade quoted Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), who accused Trump of committing "treason," Graham fired back by asking: "Where were all these Democrats when Benghazi was on fire, when they were...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Politics