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GOP chair: ‘We will not be holding a virtual convention’

In this July 21, 2016, file photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, center left, walks with vice presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana as confetti and balloons fall during celebrations after Trump’s acceptance speech on the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The coronavirus pandemic is forcing Democrats and Republicans to take a close look at whether they’ll be able to move forward as planned this summer with conventions that typically kick off the general election season.
Matt Rourke, Associated Press

Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Monday that the party “will not be holding a virtual convention,” pledging that the presidential nominating convention in late August will be conducted at least partly in-person.

The coronavirus outbreak forced Democrats to move their convention from July to August, and it’s still unclear whether that event will be entirely online. On a call with reporters about election lawsuits, McDaniel initially demurred when asked about the GOP gathering, slated for Aug. 24-27 in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the party is set to formally choose President Donald Trump as its nominee.

“It’s quite a ways away, and there’s ample time for us to adjust, if necessary,” McDaniel said. But later, in response to a question about the Minnesota Republican Party’s online convention possibly being disrupted by hackers, McDaniel said: “We will not be holding a virtual convention.”

The RNC has hired a medical adviser for the convention, and McDaniel said the party will need to consult with the Charlotte mayor and North Carolina governor on logistics.