Biden, Democrats to Skip Milwaukee for Convention on Virus Worry

Joe Biden will not travel to Milwaukee this month to accept the Democratic nomination for president at the party’s convention due to concerns about the coronavirus.

The Democratic National Convention Committee announced Wednesday that no speakers will travel to Milwaukee for the convention on the advice of health officials. Biden had been expected to attend the convention in person and deliver his acceptance speech on Aug. 20, the last night.

He will now deliver that speech from his home state of Delaware, where he has done most of his campaigning since mid-March.

“While we wish we could move forward with welcoming the world to beautiful Milwaukee in two weeks, we recognize protecting the health of our host community and everyone involved with this convention must be paramount,” Joe Solmonese, chief executive officer of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, said in a statement.

Most of the speeches were slated to be virtual before Wednesday’s announcement, and Biden would have been one of the only people to deliver an in-person speech. Delegates to the convention had already been told not to travel, and the official party business was moved online.

The convention will still be held over four days, beginning on Aug. 17, and the Democrats designed a custom virtual video control room in Milwaukee to take in hundreds of feeds from around the country.

The virus has caused both parties to dramatically scale back their conventions.

The Republican Party first planned to hold its convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, but balked when Governor Roy Cooper refused to ease social distancing and other requirements to halt the spread of Covid-19.

The GOP then moved its convention to Jacksonville, Florida, but canceled that when Florida became a virus hot spot. The Republican delegates will now meet in Charlotte to officially nominate Trump for re-election.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he will “probably” give his acceptance speech from the White House.

The Democrats reduced their convention in stages, first telling delegates not to travel, and now giving the speakers the same advice. They plan to air speeches from all around the country.

“From the very beginning of this pandemic, we put the health and safety of the American people first,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement. “We followed the science, listened to doctors and public health experts, and we continued making adjustments to our plans in order to protect lives.”

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