Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signaled his openness to hosting the Republican National Convention in Florida.
This comes after President Donald Trump on Memorial Day tweeted threatening to move the convention from North Carolina if the southern state’s “Democrat Governor,” Roy Cooper, wouldn’t guarantee that a “full attendance in the Arena” would be allowed in August.
De Santis said Tuesday, “Florida would love to have the RNC. Heck, I’m a Republican, it would be good for us to have the DNC in terms of the in terms of the economic impact when you talk about major events like that.”
“The door is open, we want to have the conversation,” he said.
But DeSantis also urged that the state would “abide” by any safety restrictions to host the event in an alternative venue.
“So my posture on all this is we should try to get it done as best we can and in accordance with whatever safety requirements,” he said. “But you know, his government will be talking about the safety restrictions, the president’s government, so if he’s going to do a convention obviously he’s gonna want to abide by whatever they’re saying. So if we can get that done and do it in a way that’s safe, that would be a huge economic impact for the state of Florida.”
North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Mandy Cohen, has sent a letter to Republican National Convention CEO Marcia Lee Kelly, requesting “a written plan” for how to “approach the COVID-19 safety aspects of the convention.”
The letter — obtained by ABC Raleigh station WTVD — comes in response to the president’s tweet on Monday, and confirms that the RNC and state officials in North Carolina were in talks about convention planning as recently as Friday.
“We also discussed on Friday the need to plan for different levels of impact of COVID-19 so the RNC convention logistics could be tailored to the COVID-19 situation we find ourselves in at the end of August,” Cohen wrote.
She urged the RNC to consider “several scenarios” as they continue to move forward with planning.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday afternoon, “it’s OK for political conventions to be political, but pandemic response cannot be. Already, we’ve been in talks with the RNC about the kind of convention that they would need to run and the kind of options that we need on the table.”
North Carolina has over 24,000 people diagnosed with the coronavirus. At least 766 people have died.