As the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Trump 2020 campaign continue to anticipate the Republican convention which is scheduled to be held in late August at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, the continued threat from COVID-19 could lead the Democratic governor of the state to cancel the event.
Politico reports that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper appears to have a no-win situation on his hands: Allow the convention to take place and risk creating a coronavirus hot spot in his state or cancel the event and risk the ire of the White House and national Republicans, who are almost certain to claim that Cooper is playing politics:
“The governor could ban such a large gathering outright. Or he could limit the number of people allowed to gather in any given place. But any moves to curb the convention could inflame Trump and his base — and prove politically costly to Cooper in November.”
Yes, Cooper will be on the ballot in November, too, seeking a second term in office. And that makes whatever decision he comes to regarding the Republican convention incredibly risky.
Consider the following scenario: It’s August and the number of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina is spiking. People are flooding to hospitals and causing a strain on the state’s medical facilities. Cooper has to impose a lockdown for the state and also decide if the convention will go forward. No matter what choice he makes, he will feel heat from those who disagree with his decision.
And then there’s the matter of North Carolina in the presidential race. It’s a state that has been trending Democratic and seems to be poised to turn blue. But angering North Carolina Republicans could set back the progress Democrats have been making in the Tar Heel State.
As he’s already proven with his cautious approach to the virus, Cooper will follow the scientific evidence presented by health officials in his state:
“Dr. Mandy Cohen, North Carolina’s Health and Human Services secretary, has been a leading adviser to the governor in his coronavirus response. Several of Cohen’s health initiatives have won broad bipartisan support in the state, particularly her approach to Medicaid reform. But she’s also a former Obama administration official, and for a time she helped run Obamacare itself. That background could fuel even more controversy in a volatile fight over the safety of a GOP convention.”
But no matter what he does, Gov. Cooper is going to be placed in the national spotlight thanks in large part to Donald Trump and the GOP, both of which are actively working to make sure Cooper doesn’t succeed.
Featured Image Via The White House