Texas GOP Convention Will Be In-Person, But Leaders Will Give Virtual Speeches
The Republican Party of Texas has decided to keep its biennial state convention an in-person event, despite growing coronavirus concerns in the state, according to The Texas Tribune.
- Though the convention is being held in person, GOP elected officials Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, among others, will be delivering their speeches virtually, according to Kyle Whatley, the party’s executive director:
“All the elected officials are switching from a live, in-person speech to videos. They’re doing that for us in order to focus all the attention on the business of the meeting and to get everybody in and out of here as quickly and as safely as possible.”
- Roughly 6,000 people are expected to attend the event in Houston, prompting calls for the party to cancel the convention as Texas has seen a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks and Houston has emerged as one of the country’s hotspots.
- Houston Mayor Sylvestor Turner asked the party in a Monday letter to cancel the convention, noting that health inspectors had the authority to shut the event down if health guidelines were not followed:
"A virtual convention would protect the health and perhaps the very lives of those who intend on attending an in-person event, as well as the hundreds of workers needed to support such an event. The best way to minimize risk is to hold a virtual convention."
- Texas GOP chair James Dickey responded to the letter saying:
"That need to assemble is important, and we are taking every precaution to ensure it is done safely.”
- He also “said the party planned to limit entry points, use thermal scans, create space for social distancing, place hand sanitizer stations in the center and provide attendees with face masks,” according to The Tribune.