The money to pay for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., is mostly raised, and contracts with hotels and local vendors are signed. The delegates are set to easily anoint a party nominee who fought tooth and nail for the title four years ago.
But instead of preparing to celebrate President Trump, White House and Republican officials are now quietly looking at the likelihood of a pared-down convention, with the coronavirus appearing increasingly likely to still pose a serious threat in late summer.
Publicly, officials have insisted they are moving full steam ahead with their plans for a traditional nominating convention in Charlotte, a major city in a swing state that Mr. Trump won in 2016. On Monday, the Republican National Committee sent its donors the official invitation to the convention, which stated that the event was proceeding apace and would be held from Aug. 24-27.
But behind the scenes, Republicans are looking at possible contingency plans, including limiting the number of people who descend on Charlotte to only delegates, and making alternate delegates stay home, according to interviews with a half-dozen Republicans close to the planning.
Mr. Trump, who was heavily involved in the staging of his last nominating convention, has even shown a new openness to participating in a scaled-down event. He has mused aloud to several aides about why the convention can’t simply be held in a hotel ballroom in Florida, given all of the health concerns and the fact that Florida is further along in reopening portions of the state.
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