RNC, Trump visit Valdosta for run-off election as COVID-19 cases continue to spike

Posted at 6:06 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 18:07:00-05

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Georgia is preparing for another election rally as COVID-19 numbers once again rise across the country.

The RNC rally is part of a push to bring in votes for candidates Kelly Loeffler and Dave Perdue in January's runoff.

Traditionally in these tours, the president speaks for about an hour, then leaves.

Safety while campaigning through a pandemic is top of mind for many.

"It's the United States of America," said Eric Howard, a city councilman for district four in Valdosta. "The president has the right to go wherever he wants, but the State of Georgia is still under an emergency declaration."

Howard's concern is the large crowds of people that will come together not following CDC guidelines.

"I can only imagine what it's going to look like out there," Howard said.

When vice president Mike Pence visited Tallahassee airport for a rally in October, there was social distancing, temperature checks, and masks were suggested but not required.

This time, Lowndes County GOP Chair Seth DeMott says CDC guidelines will be enforced.

"In the heart of COVID, we definitely encourage people to wear masks to be safe," said DeMott. "To be aware of their environment, but we're definitely very happy to have the president down here."

In a high-pressure runoff with two U.S. Senate seats up for grabs, DeMott says he hopes the visit will show the importance of communities like his.

"It's huge not only for the rural counties but rural Georgia," said DeMott. "It's not only Atlanta, Savannah, Macon. All of Georgia decides this election."

The RNC has not released specifics about how CDC guidelines will be enforced.

If you're not going to the rally, the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office says expect roads around the airport to be blocked off.