President Donald Trump cancelled a pre-election Republican party convention in Florida due to the sudden spike of coronavirus infections.
“It’s a different world, and it will be for a little while,” the president said, adding that he “just felt it was wrong” to put potentially tens of thousands of attendees at risk.
“We didn’t want to take any chances,” he told reporters. “We have to be vigilant. we have to be careful and we have to set an example.”
Trump’s decision came just as United States surpassed the four million mark on coronavirus infections.
A part of the convention will go ahead in North Carolina, where Mr Trump will be formally nominated as the Republican presidential candidate.
The event, shortened to half a day, will be held on 24 August in the city of Charlotte, the original venue for the convention.
President Trump switched the location to Jacksonville, Florida after the Democratic governor of North Carolina insisted in May on limiting the crowd size at the convention, on the grounds of social distancing.
On Thursday United States passed recorded more than 144,000 deaths from Covid-19. On Wednesday, California passed New York 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 record highs in daily deaths.
Across the US on Wednesday, a total 69,707 new virus cases were recorded.