President Donald Trump announced Thursday he was scrapping the Republican nominating convention in Florida as the number of coronavirus cases in the United States topped four million.
Trump said he was cancelling next month’s event in Jacksonville because it was not the right time to do a “big, crowded convention.”
“The timing for this event is not right, it’s just not right with what’s happened recently,” he said at a White House news conference.
Trump was speaking just hours after Johns Hopkins University reported that there were now more than four million COVID-19 cases in the United States.
With a total of 4,028,741 cases and more than 144,000 deaths, the United States is by far the hardest-hit country in the world, with Brazil and India trailing in second and third place for infection numbers.
The country has seen a coronavirus surge, particularly in southern and western states, and Texas, California, Alabama, Idaho and Florida all announced record one-day death tolls.
Trump said convention events would be held “online in some form.”
Republican delegates who will nominate him as the party’s candidate in November’s election against Democrat Joe Biden will gather in North Carolina for a “reasonably quick meeting,” he said.