This is a first.

Courtesy of CNN:

The dramatically scaled-down Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, will be closed to the press, a convention spokesperson and Republican official familiar with the plans tell CNN.

Reporters will not be allowed on site as RNC delegates vote to formally nominate President Donald Trump as the 2020 Republican presidential nominee, but the vote will be livestreamed, the Republican official said.

The restriction is unprecedented in modern American political history, but Republican officials said they were forced to limit attendance due to social distancing restrictions imposed by the governor of North Carolina.

“Given the health restrictions and limitations in place within the state of North Carolina, we are planning for the Charlotte activities to be closed press Friday, August 21 — Monday, August 24,” the RNC convention spokesperson said in a statement Saturday.

“We are happy to let you know if this changes, but we are working within the parameters set before us by state and local guidelines regarding the number of people who can attend events,” the spokesperson said.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced numerous changes to the nominating process and RNC plans have repeatedly shifted — with more changes potentially to come. Trump canceled convention activities in Jacksonville, Florida, late last month.

This virus that the Republicans keep trying to downplay is certainly kicking their ass.

I will be interested to see if the live stream version of this convention has any “technical difficulties” when the inevitable anti-Trump protests start or if any of the delegates try to nominate somebody else? 

The RNC could just be using the virus as a handy excuse for keeping the press from reporting on any embarrassing incidents that might make their candidate look weak or ineffective.