Jacksonville to order mask-wearing ahead of GOP convention

“Healthcare experts say it mitigates risk and city hall learned military installations in Jacksonville are mandating it as well,” a source said of Curry’s thinking.
Curry, a former Republican Party of Florida chairman, has been ideologically resistant to passing government mandates. At one point, he considered shutting bars in the city, but held off in advance of Gov. Ron DeSantis essentially doing that statewide.
Curry is determined to have the GOP convention take place safely in Jacksonville, and those familiar with his thinking say he wants to do what he can to once again reduce infection rates and rising hospitalizations. Jacksonville’s infection and hospitalization rates are well below those in Miami-Dade County in the southeast corner of the state.
President Trump has been resistant to wearing a mask and his past two campaign rallies have not required their use. At the president’s rally in Phoenix last week, many attendees didn’t wear masks despite a city order to do so.
In a written statement, the RNC indicated it will abide by the mask order in Jacksonville — if it’s still in place.
“The RNC is committed to holding a safe convention that fully complies with local health regulations in place at the time. The event is still two months away, and we are planning to offer health precautions including but not limited to temperature checks, available PPE, aggressive sanitizing protocols, and available COVID-19 testing,” RNC spokesman Mike Rews said. “We have a great working relationship with local leadership in Jacksonville and the state of Florida, and we will continue to coordinate with them in the months ahead.”
Curry took political fire for the RNC decision to move to Jacksonville last week when a group of doctors signed a letter opposing the decision.
Though he earned a reputation for governing in a bipartisan way, Curry’s approval ratings took a hit in a recent poll from the University of North Florida, which found significant voter opposition to the event.
“National nominating conventions are polarizing events, and unsurprisingly the levels of support for Jacksonville hosting the RNC varies dramatically by partisanship,” Michael Binder, director of the Jacksonville-based university’s Public Opinion Research Lab, said.

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