JACKSONVILLE, Fla — President Donald Trump said Tuesday the GOP is "always looking at different things" when discussing whether the Republican National Convention will still be hosted in Florida as cases of COVID-19 spike in the state.
Gray Television's Chief National Political Analyst Greta Van Susteren asked Trump if he'd make changes to the convention should Florida COVID-19 cases continue to climb. The president responded by suggesting the GOP is weighing its options and remains "flexible" about the RNC's location.
"Well, we're always looking at different things," he said. "When we signed in Jacksonville, we wanted to be in North Carolina. That almost worked out, but the Governor didn't want to have people use the arena, essentially. And so I said, 'Too bad for North Carolina.' And then we went to Florida ... when we signed a few weeks ago, it looked good. And now all of a sudden it's spiking up a little bit and that's going to go down. It really depends on the timing. Look, we're very flexible. We can do a lot of things, but we're very flexible."
The president and the GOP backed out of hosting the RNC in North Carolina after the state's governor said there'd be no guarantee that a full crowd would be allowed inside the state's 19,000-seat Spectrum Center for events. As a result, the RNC was moved to Jacksonville 15,000-seat VyStar Veteran Memorial Arena.
While local leaders like Lenny Curry welcome event, Curry having publicly pushed for it to be hosted in Jacksonville, many in the medical field are wary of the potential consequences.
About 200 Florida-based doctors, including many from the First Coast, signed an open letter to Curry in June, calling for the RNC in Jacksonville to be postponed, calling the event "medically disrespectful to citizens."
On Tuesday, Curry said he is in self-quarantine after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
First Coast News reached out to Curry's office for a comment regarding the President's statement and this was the response given:
"We won’t speculate on someone else’s comments or thoughts. President Trump would be the best person to answer that question."
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