Joe Biden will not travel to Milwaukee to officially accept the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
What We Know:
- The Democratic National Committee announced changes to this year’s DNC, which will make the event all-virtual. Biden will accept the nomination virtually from his home state of Delaware, and other speakers, including Biden’s eventual running mate, will address the convention remotely as well.
- DNC Chair Tom Perez said the decision to make the upcoming August convention virtual came after “ongoing consultation with public health officials and experts.” During a virtual fundraising event on Wednesday, Biden shared with attendees that he believed it was “the right thing to do,” saying, “I’ve wanted to set an example as to how we should respond individually to this crisis.”
- Democrats had already started downscaling events before this announcement. In June, the DNC announced that delegates would stay home for the convention due to COVID-19 concerns but that Biden would still accept the nomination in person in Milwaukee. This new announcement means the event will be even more significantly scaled-down amid the continued outbreak, but the party still plans to hold at least some events in the city.
- As recently as July 23, Biden publically said he would be accepting the nomination in person, although he continued to say that may change with updated information regarding the pandemic. “In contrast with what Donald Trump and Republicans are doing, our top priority is going to be the health and safety of the people of Milwaukee. Any decision will be guided by science and public health period.” Biden said in an interview with a Milwaukee news affiliate last month.
- Trump won Wisconsin by a slim margin in 2016, so it has become a critical battleground state for the Democrats to win in 2020. At the convention, Democrats will officially nominate Biden as their candidate. Perez told MSNBC that Biden would accept the nomination and deliver his address on Thursday night, August 20.
- The RNC, which was initially supposed to be held in Charlotte, was moved to Jacksonville and later canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, shortly before news of the virtual DNC, President Trump said he would “probably” deliver his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination from the White House. The move has already been criticized by many, as it is believed to blur the lines between “political campaigning and taxpayer-supported governance at the highest level of American government.”
- CEO of the 2020 Democratic National ConventionDNC, Joe Solmonese, shared that he thinks the convention will still be a success, despite the significant changes. “This convention will look different than any previous convention in history. It will reach more people than ever before, and truly be a convention across America for all Americans, regardless of which party you belong to or who you’ve voted for in previous elections.” Solmonese said in a statement. “This ‘unconventional’ convention will launch Joe Biden to victory in November.”
The Democratic National Convention will air in primetime for two hours each night from August 17 to August 20. The Republican National Convention is expected to begin the following week.