The Texas Medical Association has asked Republicans to cancel their in-person convention scheduled for July 16-18 at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. The convention is expected to bring thousands together without a requirement of masks or other face coverings.
“This is just not the time to bring thousands of the party faithful from around the state to an indoor meeting in a county that, as I write, reports more than 18,000 active COVID-19 cases,” Dr. Diana L. Fite, president of the TMA, wrote in a letter sent to the Republican Party of Texas Tuesday morning.
James Dickey, state GOP chairman, responded Tuesday.
“We are taking all input from those involved with our convention, including that from our party leadership and our delegates, very seriously,” he said
Fite wrote on behalf of over 53,000 members, and the letter was sent to Dickey, Alma Jackson, state vice chairman, and Kyle Whatley, executive director of the Republican Party of Texas.
“While much of our state has so far been spared the brunt of the coronavirus attack, our metropolitan areas in general – and Houston in particular – are now among the national epicenters of current COVID-19 outbreaks,” Fite wrote.
Fite addressed convention-goers’ age as she urged the party to reconsider its plans for the in-person 2020 state convention. People 65 and older are in the high-risk group for COVID-19.
Fite also reminded Republican leaders that when they delayed the convention to the July date, the medical association “asked that if an in-person meeting would occur to please utilize CDC, state and local guidelines for social distancing and wearing masks.”
In exchange for advertising, the Texas Medical Association made contributions of $5,000 to both the Texas Democratic Party and the Texas Republican Party for their state conventions.