Charlotte mayor, others weigh in on convention reality as RNC grows near

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With less than 100 days to go until the Republican National Convention is slated to take the stage in Charlotte, talk among leaders in the area continued over the weekend about what that might look like in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Vi Lyles, in a Sunday interview on MSNBC, stressed the importance of science in determining what will be possible in terms of hosting the convention, noting the reality we are faced with today is much different than the 2018 environment in which the city agreed to host the event.

RNC organizers have said they expect as many as 50,000 visitors to descend on the city for the convention, scheduled for Aug. 24-27. And, so far, little has been revealed about what contingency plans might be in the works.

“We now are really in a position where we have to put the science and the health and well-being of our community first and foremost,” said Lyles, a Democrat whose support for hosting the convention won her praise from some Republicans but also some criticism from within her own party. “Our community thought that we’d be talking about protests and security and keeping people safe that way, but here we are, fighting the unknown — COVID-19. And so we have to win that fight first.”

The mayor was joined on the segment by Michael Steele, former chair of the Republican National Committee. Read the full story here for his take and others.