The RNC Held In-Person Events. Now Four Attendees Have Tested Positive for Coronavirus.

The RNC held some live events during their four-day convention in NC. Now four people have tested positive for coronavirus. (Image via Shutterstock)

By Michael McElroy

August 28, 2020

State Democratic party spokesperson calls in-person nature of some RNC events a “reckless, short-sighted attempt to soothe Donald Trump’s ego.”

Four people tested positive for the coronavirus this week while at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County health officials said.

Two of the people were “supporting the event,” and two simply attending it, and officials “immediately issued isolation instructions,” they said in a news release late Thursday afternoon.  

RELATED: One City, Two Realities: RNC Praises Trump’s COVID Response While Charlotte’s Latinos Cry For Help

The positive cases were among nearly 800 tests conducted among the attendees, workers and support staff, the county said.

Mecklenburg officials said they would provide more details about the positive cases in an “After Action Report,” but did not say when this report might be issued.

There have been 24,952 positive cases in Mecklenburg County, the most cases in the state. The county, home of NC’s largest city, has also reported 290 COVID-related deaths. 

The possibility of infections underlays the convention storylines and preparations all summer. President Trump, bristling at the state’s restrictions and closed bars and venues, moved the convention site to Jacksonville, Fla., and then back to Charlotte weeks later when Florida officials acknowledged that the logistics of moving such a large event at such a late date were too much. 

Democrats made their convention entirely remote over COVID concerns, and the RNC drastically reduced operations and delegate capacity. But they still held live events. 

When Trump formally accepted the nomination on the convention’s opening day, he did so in person, in front of an audience of delegates. They started out in socially distant chairs, but moved closer to the stage as Trump spoke, clumping together and chanting “four more years, four more years.” 

Few wore masks.

RELATED: Florida’s Average Daily COVID Cases Has More Than Doubled. Trump Is Still Planning to Hold a Rally There.

Our sister publication in North Carolina, Cardinal & Pine, reached out to the RNC for comment but had not heard back at press time. 

However, Austin Cook, spokesperson for the NC Democratic Party, called the in-person nature of some RNC events a “reckless, short-sighted attempt to soothe Donald Trump’s ego.”

“Bringing hundreds of people together in our state during a pandemic was a slap to the face to the Charlotte community and all North Carolinians,” Cook said. “This president has shown that even in the middle of a public health crisis, nothing is more important to him than a crowd — even if it means risking lives.”



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