A Democrat governor cares more about Republican Convention attendees than the president

As per usual, the US president is heightening an issue for political gain. In this case, it may back fire. The president has declared via tweet, for the governor of North Carolina to guarantee now the summer GOP convertion in Charlotte must open up for a full audience.

The Democrat governor Roy Cooper, who has been following a data driven process, has been rightfully concerned about the pandemic risk of large gatherings. His Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Mandy Cohen, who is a very matter-of-fact and thoughtful public servant, has sent a letter to the Chair of the Republican convention, for them to share what planning efforts they have made to assure the safety of the attendees.

To state the obvious, we are talking about 50,000 delegates, reporters and supporters descending on Charlotte from around the nation and planet. A contagion like this will heighten exposure to locals as well as spreading the exposure when they return home. It should be noted, while the summer may help dampen the risk, the reopening of stores will have (and already is having) the opposite impact heightening exposure.

Three states (Texas, Florida and Georgia) with GOP governors have responded to the president’s threat to move the convention. A couple of thoughts to ponder. Charlotte won the selection to host because all other cities dropped out in the end. Also, Charlotte City Council voted only 6 to 5 to host the convention.

Finally, something the president is surprisingly terrible at is understanding planning and execution of things. You would think being a developer, he would understand these issues better. Time and again, his impatience and imprudence cause rash decisions which have come back to haunt him.

So, it is unsurprisingly clear Governor Cooper, as a Democrat, is more concerned about the health and welfare of the Republican attendees than the president is. It is unsurprising as every decision the president has made on COVID-19 prioritizes how it makes him look over helping people. The president craves the adulation of adoring fans. But, the convention really is an unneeded affair at this point and the delegates could mail in their votes (pun intended) or vote electronically in a virtual convention.

Now about these governors who raised their hands, their COVID numbers are worse than those in North Carolina. Plus, it takes a city to host, so the governors will need to work with the cities, who may not want the exposure. Yet, one thing which must be said, as a group, Republicans have bought into the president’s misinformation on COVID-19, so the health risk is higher for this audience.

Since I live in Charlotte, I have been OK with the GOP Convention being here. But, if we cannot address the safety issues and as the pandemic numbers worsen, my feeling is Mr. president, if you want to move it, don’t let the door hit you in the fanny on the way out.


14 thoughts on “A Democrat governor cares more about Republican Convention attendees than the president

  1. Note to Readers: As an independent and former Republican (and long ago Democrat) voter, I have lived 40 years in North Carolina. I have seen a very good Republican governor in Jim Martin and very good Democrat governor in Jim Hunt, with pretty good governors of both parties. Roy Cooper is a good man and has been a good governor dealing with a Republican majority General Assembly. I fault both the GOP Senate and House leaders more than I do Cooper for not working together better, but Cooper is not without blame. On COVID-19, he has been unlike the president using data and letting his people speak on the issues. It is a concerted front with more of a plan, as opposed to the daily chaos and misinformation.

    So, I am not surprised by Cooper’s even-tempered response to Trump’s tweets.

      • Brendan, he was a good Attorney General. He was the first person who called the Voter ID law being drafted by the General Assembly as “Jim Crow-like.” It was later ruled unconstitutional by Judges for restricting the rights of African-Americans to vote. The national tribalism is unfortunately alive and well here. Keith

  2. Note to Readers II: A letter to the editor of The Charlotte Observer from a Trump voter in 2016, reinforces this message.

    She writes “I voted for Donald Trump last time, but no chance will I vote for Trump if bringing hoards of people to Charlotte for the RNC puts our hospitals in jeopardy. Or, puts our area schools in jeopardy where my childrem teach and my grandchildren attend. My first priority’s are my family’s health and education.”

  3. There is an inevitability about Trump making a wrong decision which if he was the character of the mayor in a sit-com revolving around a small town would be comic.
    In a real-life occupant of the Whitehouse- not so.

    • Roger, agreed. I think he has already made some of those wrong decisions. The impact just doesn’t happen immediately. Except for the COVID-19 decisions and misinformation. It fear we are bound for increasingly worse results. Groups of people indoors in large numbers without protection.

      I read a good editorial from a pious church goer who notes now is not the time to go back to church. She added a point that must be stated loudly. The people you find in churches are disproportionately older and vulnerable due to other conditions. She said do we want to risk their lives by reopening? Her editorial was excellent in how well rounded it was.


  4. I’m all for having the convention just about anywhere as long as all the attendees are quarantined at least 3 weeks afterwards until all test negative. In fact, I would love them, including their dear leader, to be quarantined until after our new president is sworn in (they can mail-in their ballots like the rest of us).

    • Janis, excellent idea. Unfortunately, the exposure will not be limited to the convention walls. People will go to restaurants, receive catering and not practice social distancing like they should. Keith

  5. Note to Readers: I read today the president called the NC governor asking for full opening of the convention with no social distancing or masks required. Think about this. He has the nomination. He just needs the delegates to vote on it. Yet, he is advocating the gathering of people to heighten risk by people who believe him when he says these protocols are not needed.

    Pandemics work exponentially, not arithmetically. Let’s just 0.5% get infected. That is 250 people who expose people serving food, ushering, securing, guiding them around Charlotte. That is 250 people who take the risk back to their communities. On February 28, we had the first recorded American death due to COVID-19. We now are passed 105,000 in May 31, three months later.

    I want Trump supporters to realize the risk the president is placing on the Republican party and others just so he can hear applause.

    • Update: As a North Carolinian, I am very proud of how Gov. Cooper and Dr. Cohen have reiterated the need for more plans from the GOP Committee. As of yesterday, the answer is “no” to the convention unless limited audience, social distancing and masks are part of the equation. I reiterate the governor is more concerned with the pandemic risk for the GOP attendees than the president is. That is not a surprise, but should be noted.

      As of June 3, we do not know what the future holds. I spoke with several former colleagues in various consulting firms. None of these firms will be calling folks back to the office until after Labor Day, if then, having them work from home. One has said October 1. My son-in-law has been told to work from home until January 1. Everyone wants to get back to work, but the president is living in a different reality than most business leaders.

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