July 7, 2020 / 1:08 PM / a month ago

Republicans to require coronavirus testing at party convention

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Republican Party will provide mandatory coronavirus testing at its August national convention in Jacksonville, according to a memo delivered on Monday.

The plan to require thousands of attendees to get tested for the coronavirus before entering the convention site illustrates the efforts the party is undertaking to ensure President Donald Trump speaks to a packed house when he accepts the nomination.

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, an 86-year old Republican from Iowa, said on Monday that he will skip the Republican National Convention in August due to coronavirus concerns.

The Jacksonville Host Committee has not provided details on the logistics or how the cost will be covered.

“Everyone attending the convention within the perimeter will be tested and temperature checked each day,” Erin Isaac, communications director for the host committee, said in a memo to reporters.

The bulk of the Republican convention was moved from North Carolina after the state’s Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, would not commit to allowing a full convention because of pandemic concerns.

The decision to relocate to Florida was made prior to the state’s recent spike in coronavirus cases, which have grown from 667 new cases on June 1 to more than 10,000 new cases on Monday.

Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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