- The Washington Times - Friday, April 17, 2020

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel says late August’s big convention will not be derailed by coronavirus doomsday scenarios.

The message during a Friday phone call for President Trump’s supporters was succinct: “We are full steam ahead.”

“We’re ready to go,” she added regarding the four-day event in Charlotte, North Carolina, The Washington Examiner reported. “A virtual convention is not on the table for us. So no matter what, we will be having a physical convention — or a physical nominating process.”

Ms. McDaniel noted that Mr. Trump’s first priority leading up to the convention’s Aug. 24 start date was navigating the nation through the economic crisis.

“The president isn’t thinking about this at all,” she continued. “He’s so focused on, ‘How do we pull our country out of this and balance the health and safety of the American people with getting people working again?’ So I think it would be refreshing to get to a point where we’re actually talking about having rallies again and having conventions because that means our country is healing.”

Mr. Trump has sparred with critics over the past week as to when the nation, for all intents and purposes, should be open for business.

Roughly 30,000 Americans out of a population over 330 million have died of the virus, based upon data obtained by Johns Hopkins University.

“We are having very productive calls with the leaders of every sector of the economy who are all-in on getting America back to work, and soon,” Mr. Trump tweeted Wednesday. “More to come!”

The White House has also provided “Opening Up America Again” guidelines on its website, which details the president’s three-phase approach to getting the economy up and running post-coronavirus shutdowns.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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