President Donald Trump canceled the Republican Party convention in Florida, citing the pandemic, as U.S. coronavirus cases surpassed 4 million.
“Now is not the right time for this,” he said, adding that he would continue to give a convention speech in a different form.
The Jacksonville sheriff warned this week that the city was not ready for such a jamboree next month.
The event was moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, after that state imposed social distancing rules.
Although the Jacksonville events have been canceled, some delegates will still meet in Charlotte.
Mr Trump told the White House coronavirus briefing on Thursday that security was his main concern behind the decision.
During this event, the president will formally accept the nomination of his party as standard bearer for the presidential election in November.
Opinion polls suggest Mr. Trump faces an uphill battle for a second term amid criticism of his handling of the pandemic.
Last month, the Democratic convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which was also due to take place in August, was significantly reduced.
Mr. Trump’s challenger, Joe Biden, will be officially nominated by his party at the event.
What is the reaction?
Democratic Party officials taunted the president over the Florida cancellation.
A Democratic strategist involved in the planning of the convention said: “I wonder who will have the better convention – the party that recognized the limits early on and that planned a mostly virtual / digital TV production to capitalize on an audience of millions of prime-time people, or the clowns who keep moving theirs from place to place and have no concrete plan in a month. ”
In a video released Thursday, Mr. Biden and his former boss, former President Barack Obama, looked down on Mr. Trump.
They pointed to his diversion of blame in March – “I’m not taking responsibility at all” – when asked about delays in Covid-19 testing.
“Can you imagine standing up when you were president and saying, ‘It’s not my responsibility? “” Asked Mr. Biden, the former US vice president, in their “socially distanced” conversation recorded last week.
Mr. Obama replied, “These words did not come out of our mouths when we were in power. “
What is the national image?
The United States averages 2,600 cases per hour, the highest rate in the world, according to a Reuters news agency tally.
California passed New York – the former epicenter of the US epidemic – on Wednesday for the most confirmed cases with 409,000.
On the same day, Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia all broke their records for the most new cases in a 24-hour period.
Alabama, Idaho and Texas also reported new daily death records.
On Wednesday, in the United States, 69,707 new cases of the virus were recorded.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress are meanwhile negotiating an agreement to adopt a fifth economic stimulus package. The price of the previous four is $ 3tr (£ 2.4tr).