President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he has canceled the bulk of the Republican National Convention scheduled for Florida next month, citing a “flare-up” of the coronavirus.
Trump's formal renomination will still go forward in North Carolina, where a small subset of GOP delegates will still gather in Charlotte, North Carolina, for just four hours on Aug. 24. Florida was to have hosted four nights of programming and parties that Trump had hoped would be a "four-night infomercial" for his reelection.
“It’s a different world, and it will be for a little while," Trump said, explaining his decision. “To have a big convention is not the right time," Trump added.
Trump moved the ceremonial portions of the GOP convention to Florida last month amid a dispute with North Carolina’s Democratic leaders over holding an event indoors with maskless supporters. But those plans were steadily scaled back as virus cases spiked in Florida and much of the country over the last month.
Trump said he would deliver an acceptance speech in an alternate form, potentially online.
In other developments:
- A nearly $21 million government-funded study to see if a popular, over-the-counter heartburn medication could be a COVID-19 remedy has fizzled amid allegations of conflicts of interest and scientific misconduct, according to interviews, a whistleblower complaint and internal government records obtained by The Associated Press.
- Highlighting the pitfalls of beginning the baseball season amid a pandemic, Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto tested positive for COVID-19 and was put on the injured list Thursday, hours before the 2019 World Series champions were scheduled to face the New York Yankees on opening day.
- Delta Air Lines will provide at-home coronavirus tests for some employees, while Southwest and American will tighten their rules on face masks by ending exceptions for medical reasons. Those moves come as airlines try to reassure passengers and their own employees about safety during a pandemic that has made many people afraid to fly.
- The nation got another dose of bad economic news as the number of laid-off workers seeking jobless benefits rose last week for the first time since late March, intensifying concerns the resurgent coronavirus is stalling or even reversing the economic recovery. And an extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits, provided by the federal government on top of whatever assistance states provide, is set to expire at the end of the week.
- Trump on Thursday reluctantly dropped his bid to cut Social Security payroll taxes as Republicans stumbled anew in efforts to unite around a $1 trillion COVID-19 rescue package to begin negotiations with Democrats who are seeking far more.
- Hollywood has now gone more than four months without a major theatrical release. While some films have found new streaming homes, the biggest upcoming ones — “Tenet,” “Mulan,” “A Quiet Place Part II” — remain idled like jumbo jets on the tarmac. The leading chains are still shuttered. Recent coronavirus spikes have forced release dates to shuffle and chains to postpone reopening to August. Now, movie houses say that despite far from ideal circumstances, it’s time for new movies.
- The director-general of the World Health Organization upbraided U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday for “untrue and unacceptable” allegations during the coronavirus pandemic after British media reported that Pompeo made a comment about the health agency chief having been “bought” by China.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics has announced new recommendations for youth sports during the pandemic to minimize risks of COVID-19. They include masks for young athletes in non-vigorous activities when social distancing isn’t possible, practicing in small pods that don’t switch players and not sharing equipment.
These national chains are requiring masks
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