As of Monday, President Donald Trump has secured enough delegates at the Republican National Convention to be officially named as the party's candidate in the 2020 presidential election. The RNC 2020 commences on Monday night, with various speakers representing the party's hope for maintaining positions in the U.S. government for the next few years. If there was any doubt that Trump would be their candidate, it has been dispelled.
Trump made a surprise visit to the RNC on Monday, according to a report by USA Today. He showed up shortly after receiving enough delegates to become the official candidate, and made brief remarks, saying: "This is the most important election in the history of our country. This is the biggest." Unlike the DNC 2020, the RNC is an in-person event, being held in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Although the numbers are now firmly in Trump's favor, he will not formally accept the nomination from his party until Thursday night. At that time, he will reportedly deliver an address from the White House — a controversial move, as the seat of leadership is not supposed to be used for political campaigning.
Trump's nomination is not a big surprise to anyone, since he faces no serious opposition from within the party this year. Still, the event is symbolic and marks the official start of the race between himself and the recently nominated candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Right now, the polls reportedly show an extremely close race between the two candidates, with a few "battleground states" expected to make or break their chances. Trump and other Republicans are under intense scrutiny for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and the economic recession that followed. However, they reportedly hope to use the RNC as a chance to explain their stances and reset their positions.
Still, the very existence of a crowded, in-person event signals the disparity between the two parties' response to COVID-19. The DNC 2020 was almost entirely a virtual event, with speakers pre-recording their remarks or else streaming their speeches live. This also served to draw in a large crowd via TV broadcasts, social media and online outlets.
The coronavirus pandemic rages on in the U.S., with the death toll rising steadily and economic prospects worsening as well. Public health experts still say that social distancing is the most important factor to reduce the spread, so a live event like the RNC goes directly against their advice.