FDA Head Says Too Early to Tell if RNC Florida Events Are Safe

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said it’s too early tell if it’s safe to host part of the Republican National Convention next month in Florida, where coronavirus cases have been surging.

Originally scheduled to be held in Charlotte, the nominating convention -- including President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech -- was partially moved to Jacksonville, after North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, disagreed with hosting the Aug. 24-27 event at full scale out of concern of the virus spread.

“I think it’s too early to tell,” Hahn said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “And we’ll have to see how this unfolds in Florida and elsewhere around the country.”

Florida’s daily reported virus infections rose by the most yet on Friday, increasing by more the 6% to slightly more than 190,000. Another 18 people in the state died of Covid-19, the fewest in almost two weeks.

Hahn, who’s has been a cheerleader for the administration’s efforts on the virus, declined to endorse Trump’s optimistic view of progress toward a vaccine, saying he wouldn’t speculate on when one might become available. He urged people to take coronavirus seriously and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The administration has struggled to explain why Trump has been holding rallies with thousands of people who are neither socially distancing nor -- in many cases -- wearing masks in defiance of CDC guidance.

High profile supporters of the president, including former presidential candidate Herman Cain and Kimberly Guilfoyle, who leads fund-raising efforts for the Trump campaign and is dating Donald Trump Jr., are among those who tested positive for Covid-19 in recent days. So have a number of Secret Service agents and Trump campaign staffers.

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