- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday said his state is unlikely to volunteer to host the Republican National Convention after President Trump said officials are looking for another state to hold the event.

“I don’t know where we’ll be several months from now, but this would not be something that we think that we would volunteer to do,” Mr. DeWine said on “Fox & Friends.” “These mass gatherings are just a real problem, particularly those that are inside.”

He said that while Ohio has flattened the curve on key metrics in the fight against the coronavirus, the virus “is still very much here.”

“These mass gatherings are kind of the last things to come together and a mass gathering inside is frankly the thing that would scare us the most simply about the spread of the virus,” Mr. DeWine said.

Other Republican state leaders such as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said they’d be happy to host the late August event amid rising tensions between convention planners and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat.

Mr. Trump said late Tuesday that officials have been forced to seek another location because Mr. Cooper can’t guarantee the full use of an arena in Charlotte.

Mr. Cooper has said a primary concern during the ongoing negotiations is looking out for public safety.

Democrats have already postponed their convention in Milwaukee and are pondering ways to hold parts of it virtually.

Mr. Trump had said in early April that there was no contingency plan in place for the Republican convention and that it would proceed as planned in late August.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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