Losing the Republican National Convention after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and RNC officials failed to see eye to eye on coronavirus restrictions would be "devastating" for the state, the state's lieutenant governor said on Wednesday.
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"It's a pretty devastating day in North Carolina, but especially for the city of Charlotte," Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, a Republican, told FOX Business' Stuart Varney. "Probably the only hope that was going on in Charlotte was a big convention with $160 million pouring in, and now that's going away because of ... a negative action by the governor."
Not hosting the event compounds the pain of the hospitality industry after the coronavirus shutdown and then damage from looters, said Forest, who's running against Cooper in the 2020 election.
"Elections have consequences, and we are seeing the consequences right here in North Carolina," he said. "A lot of inconsistent decisions, as you have seen all over the country, where people claim they are using science and data but their decisions are all very subjective in nature."
Cooper could agree to a scaled-down convention but not the full-scale convention he said RNC officials wanted, the Democratic governor wrote in a letter to RNC officials on Tuesday afternoon. After President Trump said the RNC would pick a new state on Tuesday night, Cooper said the news was "unfortunate."
"We have been committed to a safe RNC convention in North Carolina and it’s unfortunate they never agreed to scale down and make changes to keep people safe," Cooper wrote on Twitter. "Protecting public health and safety during this pandemic is a priority."
North Carolina has been in Phase 2 of its reopening since May 22, meaning that retail locations can reach 50 percent capacity and child care can open for all children.