“Waving the middle finger to public health guidelines, the ‘political establishment’ and the ‘mainstream media’ in the form of an in-person roll call amid the pandemic is a great way to invigorate his hard-core base,” said Lucy Caldwell, a Republican strategist and adviser to former Representative Joe Walsh of Illinois, who challenged Mr. Trump this year in the Republican primary race.
Leading up to kickoff weekend, Republican National Convention attendees were asked to stay at home as much as possible beginning Aug. 6, before their travel, to reduce potential exposure to the coronavirus. While in Charlotte, attendees are expected to have their temperatures taken before entering the venue and then given a daily “health-pass bracelet” that will allow them to participate, according to a copy of the Republicans’ health plan obtained by The New York Times.
All attendees are expected to maintain at least a six-foot distance from one another while inside the venue, and the Republican National Committee said it would enforce a statewide mask mandate and provide masks, gloves, portable hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to all attendees. The committee also said it planned to contact every attendee five, 14 and 21 days after the event to track the possible spread of the coronavirus.
The health protocols have helped ease concerns from local Democratic officials who were apprehensive about a large-scale gathering.
“They’ve got a plan and they’ve outlined it, and, I, at least, believe it’s been well thought out,” said Larken Egleston, a Democratic City Council member in Charlotte. Mr. Egleston said Dr. Runge had briefed the council and was “doing his job in a nonpartisan way.”
“I’m glad that it’s not the convention that we originally thought it would be,” Mr. Egleston said. “But as scaled back as it is, I think it can be done safely.”
But the Republican National Committee was still hoping to provide some kind of enjoyable social experience for attendees. Delegates and members will have the option to go to a jazz club and have dinner out, according to a person involved in the planning, who said that despite all of the health precautions, they still wanted to “normalize” the experience.