President Donald Trump poured cold water on speculation that the Republican National Committee convention scheduled for August may be canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
During an interview Thursday on Fox News, host Sean Hannity asked the president about the RNC convention and whether it will still happen given warnings of social distancing and avoiding bing crowds.
“No way I’m going to cancel the convention,” Trump said. “We are at the end of August. I think we’ll be in great shape long before then.”
Michael Whatley, chairman of the RNC, said over the weekend that the organization is “firmly committed” to holding the event as of right now.
“However, the RNC is closely monitoring conditions regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and is working closely with federal, state, and local governments in order to determine whether they will need to make any changes to the schedule,” he concluded.
In contrast, the Democrat primary race has been rocked by the coronavirus crisis. Multiple states have been forced to postpone their primaries or opt to vote exclusively by mail, leading to low voter turnout.
DNC chairman Tom Perez said on Monday that the party is “planning for every eventuality and safety,” signaling that the National event could still be in jeopardy. The DNC is scheduled for mid-July.
“We still have roughly four months until the convention and so we will continue to be in regular contact with all of the relevant stakeholders, including but not limited to public health professionals federally and at a state and local level in Wisconsin,” he continued.
"Somebody was asking today, ‘Will you cancel your convention?’ I said no way I’m going to cancel the convention. We’re going to have the convention, it's going to be incredible,” Trump told Fox News's Sean Hannity. https://t.co/kb8uFwcDa1
— The Hill (@thehill) March 27, 2020
Though projections for how long the coronavirus could impact the U.S. have ranged from several weeks to 18 months, the White House has moved towards a shorter timeline in recent days.
Trump made headlines this week when he unveiled his ambitious plan to have the economy re-opened by Easter, but White House task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx seems to cautiously agree with the president.
Birx, who serves as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, said on Thursday that some of the more severe coronavirus predictions don’t hold water anymore.
“There’s no model right now, no reality on the ground, where we can see that 60-70 percent of Americans are going to get infected in the next 10-12 weeks,” she said.
She disclosed on Thursday that the White House is working on new guidelines that will be “a laser-focused approached rather than a generic horizontal approach” to quarantines and testing, allowing the less-vulnerable parts of the country to get back to work sooner rather than later.
Birx also slammed the media during the White House coronavirus briefing on Thursday for peddling extreme predictions about the pandemic.
She said those overly excessive predictions don’t line up with the incoming data, while also pushing back against unfounded rumors that could alarm the public.
Birx said 19 of all 50 states with confirmed cases have low levels of the outbreak.
“When people start talking about 20 percent of a population being infected, it’s very scary,” she said during Thursday’s White House briefing. “But we don’t have data that matches that based on the [actual] experience.”
Birx also pushed back against rumors of changes to do-not-resuscitate policies, saying such falsehoods could scare the public. Hospitals across the United States are reportedly discussing the possibility of a blanket do-not-resuscitate policy for infected patients to prevent the virus from spreading.
“There is no situation in the United States right now that warrants that kind of discussion,” Birx said.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Birx slammed the media and said they have “frightened the American people” with salacious reporting surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.
Birx’s remarks come after leftist talking heads like MSNBC’s Chris Hayes have claimed that the coronavirus could kill 1 percent of the U.S. population, which is over 3.2 million people.
“If you do these projections, when you got to those projections that said like in Germany and others that implied that 60% or 50% of the population would get infected, I want to be very clear, the only way that happens is that this virus remains continuously moving through populations in this cycle, in the fall cycle, and another cycle,” Birx continued. “That’s through three cycles with nothing being done.”
“We are dealing with cycle ‘A’ right now, not one that could come in the fall of 2020, and that we’re getting prepared for by the innovations that are being worked on, and not 2021 [cycle],” Birx continued. “We’re really dealing with the here and now while we are planning for the future. And I think the numbers that have been put out there are actually very frightening to people.”
“But I can tell you if you go back and look at Wuhan and Hubei and all of these provinces, when they talk about 60,000 people being infected, even if you said, alright, well there’s asymptomatic and all of that, so you get to 600,000 people out of 80 million,” Birx added. “That is nowhere close to the numbers that you see people putting out there. I think it has frightened the American people.”
Dr. Deborah Birx suggests the media is irresponsibly presenting distorted coronavirus numbers to the American people in an effort to frighten them pic.twitter.com/igxmS07xeS
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) March 26, 2020
This comes as Democrats are falsely trying to claim that the Trump administration left the country vulnerable to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.