A US health official has expressed concerns over “the lack of mask wearing and social distancing” at the ongoing Republican National Convention (RNC) in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In a statement on Monday, Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris said that she has shared her concerns with RNC officials after noticing that delegates were not wearing masks or maintaining distance during Monday’s inaugural event, reports Xinhua news agency.
“I have been assured that they are working hard to address these issues. All attendees agreed to comply with the requirements prior to attending and were informed that these requirements would be enforced,” he said.
Harris further said that she hoped the RNC’s inability to follow the rules does not result in additional coronavirus cases in communities, stressing that the inability to follow the plan will make it more difficult to approve similar requests in the future.
North Carolina officials granted the RNC an exception to the 10-person cap on indoor activities.
Just a few reporters were invited to the convention floor.
On Monday, the first day of the RNC, 336 delegates gathered inside the Charlotte Convention Center for a roll call vote that formally nominated sitting President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for the party’s 2020 presidential ticket.
The delegates received tests and temperature checks and were instructed to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Both Trump and Pence made an appearance at the convention centre on Monday.
Before the RNC began, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told CBS News on Sunday that convention officials were doing everything necessary to prevent the spread of coronavirus among attendees.
The rest of the RNC convention, which will run through later this week, will be largely virtual.
But Trump’s acceptance speech from the White House South Lawn on Thursday night is expected to have a visible live audience.
The RNC has been largely scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump had planned to move his acceptance speech to Jacksonville, Florida but he later called it off after infections surged in “The Sunshine State”.