Within an hour of submitting a request to the Jacksonville Mayor’s office, CREW was notified that there were no responsive records to the request. A day later, two City Council members sent no records responses as well.
Governor Ron DeSantis’ Office of Open Government has also determined it has no documents responsive to CREW’s request.Read more about the pattern of no records responses here.
Despite coronavirus cases spiking throughout the state of Florida, especially in the north east area, the Republican National Committee has moved Trump’s re-nomination ceremony to Jacksonville, FL. Although the convention was initially planned for Charlotte, North Carolina, the RNC made the decision to relocate after being told by the Charlotte mayor that coronavirus measures, including wearing masks and social distancing, would need to be implemented during the convention. Florida has been increasingly relaxing coronavirus measures, guaranteeing that the pandemic would have little interference with the convention’s full attendance.
CREW has requested documents including any communications regarding public health considerations during the convention between the Office of the Mayor of Jacksonville and the CDC, White House and the RNC.
The event will take place in an arena that holds 15,000 people. These documents would contribute to the public’s general understanding of how the RNC and the city of Jacksonville plan to diminish public health risk. With this many individuals in close contact with one another, the risk of contracting the virus is substantially higher; therefore, it is important to know whether there are plans in place to ensure pandemic preparedness and limit the chance of an outbreak at the convention. The RNC should not be prioritizing profit from this event or the president’s personal preferences over the safety of those attending.