Trump decides to accept nomination in North Carolina after trashing its virus rules

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After breaking up with Jacksonville, Trump says he'll go back to North Carolina.

Donald Trump plans to move his 2020 nomination acceptance speech back to the place he said he was "forced" to leave weeks ago.

"I'll be in North Carolina, and that's a very big deal because we have a lot of the delegates there and that'll be a nomination process," he told a North Carolina television station on Monday night. "And that's essentially where the nomination, where it's formalized. And I'm really honored to do it in North Carolina."

But on June 2, Trump angrily announced that he would be unable to hold the 2020 Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina — as planned — because Gov. Roy Cooper was "still in Shelter-in-Place Mode" and would not let him ignore safety rules in the pandemic.

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"Had long planned to have the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, a place I love. Now, @NC_Governor Roy Cooper and his representatives refuse to guarantee that we can have use of the Spectrum Arena,” he tweeted, adding, "Because of @NC_Governor, we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention."

Monday's announcement suggests that Trump had not been "forced" out of North Carolina after all.

Cooper, a Democrat, responded on June 3 that he had been "committed to a safe RNC convention in North Carolina" but Trump had "never agreed to scale down and make changes to keep people safe." Cooper said, "Protecting public health and safety during this pandemic is a priority."

Determined to have a packed convention without mandatory face masks, Trump decided on June 11 to deliver his acceptance speech in Jacksonville, Florida, instead.

But with coronavirus cases spiking in Florida, Jacksonville implemented an ordinance in late June requiring face coverings in all public indoor spaces. In mid-July, Florida implemented a statewide order prohibiting venues from operating at more than half of their capacity, further foiling Trump's plans.

A poll last Thursday showed the vast majority of Floridians did not believe the event could be held safely.

On Thursday evening, faced with the out-of-control spread of the coronavirus, Trump announced that he was canceling the Jacksonville Republican National Convention altogether.

"I looked at my team, and I said, 'The timing for this event is not right. It's just not right with what's happened recently — the flare-up in Florida — to have a big convention. It's not the right time,'" Trump claimed at a press conference. "It's really something that, for me — I have to protect the American people. That's what I've always done. That's what I always will do.  That's what I'm about."

Moments later, however, he reiterated his demand that schools reopen fully this fall.

The Democratic National Committee said last month it would hold its convention almost entirely online. The Trump administration mocked the decision at the time, with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway comparing it to "a small second wedding."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.