AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas GOP is moving ahead with a three-day convention in Houston, one of the nation’s coronavirus hotspots, over opposition from doctors and some local party activists.
Party leaders voted Thursday night to stick with an in-person gathering starting July 16. The event is typically one of the largest political conventions in America, drawing thousands of attendees, and some supporters suggested that changing plans is not what President Donald Trump would want.
The vote came hours after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide mask order as COVID-19 hospitalizations in Texas set another high Thursday. Hospitals in Houston have warned they are becoming stretched and the Texas Medical Association has called for cancelling the convention, saying now was not the time to pack thousands of people indoors.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a Democrat, has left the decisions about the convention up to the GOP. Abbott has also not taken a position on whether his party should go forward with meeting in person.