U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday the Republicans will move this year’s national convention from the southeastern state of North Carolina because the governor is refusing to remove restrictions on large events aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

As many as 19,000 people, including delegates and party officials, were expected to gather in Charlotte’s Spectrum Center, home of the city’s National Basketball Association franchise, in late August to nominate President Trump as the party’s candidate in the November presidential election.

The president and Republican officials had demanded that Democratic Governor Roy Cooper allow the party to hold a typical full-scale convention, with an arena packed with delegates freely walking around without face masks.

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