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President Trump on stage during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Ohio. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

President Trump threatened in a series of Monday tweets to move this summer's Republican National Convention from Charlotte if North Carolina's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, doesn't allow the event to be held at full capacity.

The state of play: Mandy Cohen, the state's health and human services secretary, said last week that the GOP should "plan for the worst" as mass gatherings will be a "very big challenge" if the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to increase, per NPR.

  • The state reported its highest single-day spike in new coronavirus cases on Saturday, a day after it began its second phase of reopening.
  • Mecklenburg County, home to Charlotte, has the highest number of confirmed cases in the state with over 3,000, according to state data.
  • The convention is expected to draw around 50,000 people, and Republican leaders added a senior health adviser earlier this month to try to preempt virus concerns.

What he's saying: "Plans are being made by many thousands of enthusiastic Republicans, and others, to head to beautiful North Carolina in August. They must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied. If not, we will be reluctantly forced to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site," Trump tweeted.

  • A spokesperson for Cooper responded: "State health officials are working with the RNC and will review its plans as they make decisions about how to hold the convention in Charlotte. North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state's public health and safety."

The backdrop: The New York Times reported last week that the Republican Party is quietly acknowledging that its convention plans would have to be scaled back amid the coronavirus threat, even as it publicly insisted its plans hadn't changed.

  • Trump even "has mused aloud to several aides about why the convention can’t simply be held in a hotel ballroom in Florida, given all of the health concerns and the fact that Florida is further along in reopening portions of the state."
  • The Times notes that contractual obligations make the event difficult to move from Charlotte — unless Cooper were to prevent the event from being held entirely.

The other side: The Democratic Party has already postponed its convention, scheduled to be held in Milwaukee, from July to August — and is considering adding virtual or socially-distanced elements.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Updated Oct 16, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Note: Does not include probable deaths from New York City; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. surpassed 8 million coronavirus cases on Friday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: Coronavirus infections jumped by almost 17% over the past week as the number of new cases across the country increased in 38 states and Washington, D.C., according to a seven-day average tracked by Axios.

Why the polls could lead us astray again

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Getty Images photos: Brendan Smialowski/AFP and Jim Watson/AFP

Four years after Donald Trump defied expectations set by pollsters and news organizations, the public should have even less confidence that public opinion data can accurately point to the winner.

Why it matters: This election could be deja vu all over again but worse, with polls setting false expectations amidst voting complicated by the pandemic and a president who has warned of a "rigged" process, the outcome of which he won't accept.