The Senate's oldest Republican, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, told local reporters on Monday that he won't attend the 2020 Republican National Convention because of coronavirus concerns. Grassley is 86 years old.
"I'm not going to go. And I'm not going to go because of the virus situation," Grassley said during a call with reporters, according to The Des Moines Register. The senator's office confirmed to CNN that the comments reported by the newspaper are accurate.
Grassley is also the Senate's longest-serving Republican and serves in the role of president pro tempore, which places him third in the line of presidential succession, after the vice president and House speaker.
President Trump is set to accept the 2020 Republican presidential nomination in Jacksonville, Florida, at a venue that holds 15,000 people. The President, who wants a full-scale convention, decided to change the location from Charlotte, North Carolina, after a dispute with the state's Democratic governor about social distancing guidelines put in place to limit the spread of coronavirus.
But health experts — and Republican officials — have expressed alarm over a recent spike of coronavirus cases in Florida.
The state set a record for most new coronavirus cases in the US in a single day on Saturday, with 11,458, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and on Sunday the state surpassed 200,000 Covid-19 cases.