Republicans ban media from party convention ‘due to coronavirus’

Press will not be present when party votes to renominate Trump for president

The vote to renominate Donald Trump will be held in private. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

The vote to renominate Donald Trump will be held in private. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

 

The vote to renominate Donald Trump for US president at the Republican Convention is to be held in private later this month without members of the press present.

Although Mr Trump called off the public components of the convention in Florida last month, citing rising cases of coronavirus across the country, 336 delegates were scheduled to gather in Charlotte, North Carolina, on August 24th to formally vote to make him the Republican Party’s standard-bearer once more.

Nominating conventions are traditionally meant to be media bonanzas, as political parties seek to leverage the attention the events draw to spread their message to as many voters as possible.

If the party’s decision stands, it will mark the first nominating convention in modern history to be closed to reporters.

“Given the health restrictions and limitations in place within the state of North Carolina, we are planning for the Charlotte activities to be closed press,” a convention spokeswoman said.

“We are happy to let you know if this changes, but we are working within the parameters set before us by state and local guidelines regarding the number of people who can attend events.”

Privately, some delegations have raised logistical issues, citing the increasing number of jurisdictions imposing mandatory quarantine orders on travellers returning from states experiencing surges in the virus.

The subset of delegates in Charlotte will be casting proxy votes on behalf of the more than 2,500 official delegates to the convention.

Alternate delegates and guests have already been prohibited. – PA