Vote to renominate Trump to be held privately without media present due to coronavirus

The GOP event will be the first to be held without reporters present

Clea Skopeliti
Sunday 02 August 2020 10:43 BST
Nominating conventions are typically huge media events, but this year will be different
Nominating conventions are typically huge media events, but this year will be different (AP)

The Republican National Convention is set to be closed to the press and held in private later this month due to coronavirus risks, a spokesperson for the event has said.

If the decision stands, the vote to renominate President Donald Trump will be the first nominating convention in modern history without a media presence. The events traditionally attract a great deal of coverage, as parties use the fanfare to spread their message as widely as possible.

Mr Trump had already cancelled the public parts of the convention in Jacksonville, Florida last month as coronavirus cases surged in the state.

A fraction of the total number of delegates – 336 of 2,500 – are due to meet in Charlotte, North Carolina on 24 August to formally vote in Mr Trump as the party's representative. This subset will be casting proxy votes for those unable to attend.

While the press will be barred from attending, proceedings will be livestreamed, according to CNN.

“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 Friday 21 August to Monday 24 August,” a convention spokesperson 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.”

Zeke Miller, the president of the White House Correspondents' Association, criticised the decision on Twitter, calling on the party to reconsider.

"This is an ill-advised decision that the GOP and GOP convention should reconsider. The nomination of a major presidential candidate is very much the business of the American people," Mr Miller wrote.

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