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The Jacksonville 2020 Host Committee released a memo Monday outlining health and safety guidelines during the Republican National Convention.
In the memo, it said “everyone attending the convention within the perimeter will be tested and temperature checked each day.” Action News Jax reached out to the spokesperson for the host committee to find out how much it’s expected to cost for mass testing and who will pay for it, but we’re waiting on a response.
Plans are moving forward to host the RNC rally in Jacksonville this August. Monday, the city of Jacksonville confirmed to Action News Jax it received National Special Security Event (NSSE) designation for the Republican National Convention.
Meanwhile, dozens of local pastors are pushing back and called for city leaders to reconsider hosting the convention over COVID-19 concerns.
“There is grave concern that hosting the RNC signifies that our city is placing profits over people,” their group letter said.
Pastor Gary Williams Sr. of Hopewell Church said the city shouldn’t be hosting any event and said it’s a big risk. “One of the things we cannot do is that we cannot act like we are not living in a pandemic,” Pastor Williams said.
The group letter also said fears of racial tension and economic uncertainty “have exponentially amplified the level of anxiety in our society.” It also mentions the convention falling on the anniversary of “Ax Handle Saturday.”
“For the president to make the acceptance speech on Axe Handle Saturday in Jacksonville, I believe it will set the city back several years,” Pastor Williams said.