President Trump Says He’ll Pull RNC out of NC if Governor Cooper Limits Attendance

RALEIGH – President Donald Trump turned the heat up on North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper this weekend as the final status of the 2020 RNC in Charlotte remains an open question. Such political conventions usually bring tens of millions of dollars in economic boost to the host city, but the pandemic panic and resulting emergency declarations mean that crowd sizes are currently limited and Governor Cooper holds the power to restrict the size of the crowds under guise of stopping the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.

Cooper better not limit the convention, Trump suggested over the weekend, or the president will find another state to host the economy-boosting event.

Some media are already speculating about where Trump will move the event.

Other Democrats in North Carolina are egging on Governor Cooper to ‘call Trump’s bluff‘, and that may indeed happen, though not in the dramatic flare the editorialists are hoping for. Cooper and the public health officials attempting to rule our lives at the moment have consistently erred on the side of fear and fright. Currently, even in ‘Phase 2’ of our reopening plan, there are no more than 10 people allowed go public gatherings, and we’d bet that some sort of crowd size restrictions will remain in place even in late August.

Cooper has used the canned phrase of relying on ‘data and science’ to make the decision, of course.

“State health officials are working with the RNC and will review its plan as they make decisions about how to hold the convention in Charlotte. North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state’s public health and safety.”

Who could be against ‘data and science’? For its part, the Queen City and Mecklenburg County are deferring to Governor Cooper on the final decisions regarding the convention, issuing the following in response to the president’s tweets.

“We are in constant communication with our local and federal counterparts to plan and prepare for a safe Republican National Convention (RNC). The City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and other local stakeholders will continue to plan for the RNC while respecting national and state guidance regarding the pandemic. We are working with stakeholders to develop guidelines for several large events planned for Charlotte in the coming months including the RNC and anticipate providing that guidance in June.”

Mayor Vi Lyles echoed the same sentiments, but despite the pandemic panic and Trump’s tweets, all the inertia seems to heading toward Charlotte in the end. Contracts have been signed, federal funds have been allocated for security, and the prospect of uprooting and re-staging the convention in a different venue in less than three months seems entirely unfeasible.

Yet, this is President Donald Trump. The seemingly impossible, therefore, must be considered a very real possibility.

Governor Cooper is scheduled to hold a press briefing at 3:00 PM Tuesday, at which he’ll likely be asked about the Trump ultimatum. We don’t expect anything more than equivocation from Cooper, but fully expect to hear ‘data and science’ uttered more than once, despite the lockdown policies not being rooted in honest interpretations of data and science.

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