The governors of Georgia and Florida, seizing on a tweet from President Trump, made an audacious move on Tuesday, offering their states’ hosting services for the Republican National Convention, which the party is contractually obligated to hold in Charlotte, N.C.
That contract was signed nearly two years ago, and moving a 50,000-person, multimillion-dollar event less than three months before it happens would be extraordinary.
But Mr. Trump — in contrast to the host committee that is coordinating the event — threatened on Monday to move the convention unless Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina provided a “guarantee” that there would be no coronavirus-related restrictions on the size of the event. And Mr. Cooper, a Democrat, refused to do so.
“I will say that it’s OK for political conventions to be political, but pandemic response cannot be,” Mr. Cooper said at a news conference on Tuesday. “We’re talking about something that’s going to happen three months from now, and we don’t know what our situation is going to be.”
Mr. Cooper added that his office had asked the R.N.C. to provide a written proposal for holding the convention safely.
Asked about the proposal request and about the overtures from Georgia and Florida, an R.N.C. spokesman, Steve Guest, said: “The R.N.C. wants to hold a full in-person convention in Charlotte, but we need the governor to provide assurances that it can occur. We will need some answers sooner rather than later, or we will be forced to consider other options.”
At an event in the Rose Garden on Tuesday, Mr. Trump said he wanted an answer within a week.
Seeing an opening, Republican governors elsewhere pounced. Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia started the bidding Tuesday morning, tweeting at the president that his state “would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said he, too, would be delighted to host — “as best we can in accordance with whatever safety requirements,” a caveat that may not please a president looking for a guaranteed full-scale convention.
“Florida would love to have the R.N.C.,” Mr. DeSantis said at a news conference in Miami. “Heck, I’m a Republican — it would be good for us to have the D.N.C., in terms of the economic impact when you talk about major events like that.”
Mr. Trump is not a party to the contract that the Republican National Committee signed with Charlotte and does not have the authority to unilaterally move the convention, though he can exert pressure. His remarks are also out of sync with the conversations that the host committee is having with Mr. Cooper’s office.
Coronavirus cases are still increasing in North Carolina — the confirmed count is over 24,000, with at least 784 deaths — and there is no way for medical experts to predict whether it will be safe for large groups, much less tens of thousands of people, to gather in August. Currently, the state is limiting indoor gatherings to 10 people.
Frequently Asked Questions and Advice
Updated May 26, 2020
How can I protect myself while flying?
If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.
How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?
Over 38 million people have filed for unemployment since March. One in five who were working in February reported losing a job or being furloughed in March or the beginning of April, data from a Federal Reserve survey released on May 14 showed, and that pain was highly concentrated among low earners. Fully 39 percent of former workers living in a household earning $40,000 or less lost work, compared with 13 percent in those making more than $100,000, a Fed official said.
Is ‘Covid toe’ a symptom of the disease?
There is an uptick in people reporting symptoms of chilblains, which are painful red or purple lesions that typically appear in the winter on fingers or toes. The lesions are emerging as yet another symptom of infection with the new coronavirus. Chilblains are caused by inflammation in small blood vessels in reaction to cold or damp conditions, but they are usually common in the coldest winter months. Federal health officials do not include toe lesions in the list of coronavirus symptoms, but some dermatologists are pushing for a change, saying so-called Covid toe should be sufficient grounds for testing.
Can I go to the park?
Yes, but make sure you keep six feet of distance between you and people who don’t live in your home. Even if you just hang out in a park, rather than go for a jog or a walk, getting some fresh air, and hopefully sunshine, is a good idea.
How do I take my temperature?
Taking one’s temperature to look for signs of fever is not as easy as it sounds, as “normal” temperature numbers can vary, but generally, keep an eye out for a temperature of 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If you don’t have a thermometer (they can be pricey these days), there are other ways to figure out if you have a fever, or are at risk of Covid-19 complications.
Should I wear a mask?
The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.
What should I do if I feel sick?
If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.
How do I get tested?
If you’re sick and you think you’ve been exposed to the new coronavirus, the C.D.C. recommends that you call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms and fears. They will decide if you need to be tested. Keep in mind that there’s a chance — because of a lack of testing kits or because you’re asymptomatic, for instance — you won’t be able to get tested.
How can I help?
Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities.
Mr. Cooper said Tuesday that the conversations his office was having with the R.N.C., and the contingency planning it was requiring, were the same as those happening with sports teams and other organizations hoping to hold large events in North Carolina.
“We have asked them to present a plan on paper to us laying out the various options that we’ve already discussed orally,” he said. “I hope that we can find some kind of reasonable accommodation, but we’re not going to sacrifice the health and safety of North Carolinians.”
Maggie Haberman and Patricia Mazzei contributed reporting.