The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is rescheduling the party’s convention to August 17 due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
The convention was originally scheduled to take place July 13–16 at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Party officials are moving it to August 17.
Joe Solmonese, the convention’s chief executive, told the New York Times that continuing the event on this postponed date “is the best-case scenario in terms having the convention that we had originally envisioned and also keeping it anchored in the state of Wisconsin.”
“It could potentially be smaller,” he added.
The news comes days after Joe Biden (D) mused that it was “hard to envision” the convention taking place, given the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
As Breitbart News reported:
“We should listen to the scientists. And you know one of the reasons why the Democratic convention was going to be held early was the Olympics were coming after the Republican convention,” Biden said during an interview with Brian Williams.
“We ought to be able to do what we were able to do in the middle of the Civil War … [have] conventions, and primaries, and elections, and still have public safety,” the former vice president added. “We’re able to do both, but the fact is that it may have to be different.”
Biden’s suggestion was echoed on Wednesday by more than 40 state and local Democrat leaders, according to CBS News. Included among the list are top Biden surrogates, like Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO). The Missouri Democrat told Fox News that although the situation remained fluid, the chance of a convention taking place was unlikely.
DNC organizers have been reportedly engaging in “intensive scenario-planning” as the coronavirus pandemic continues to reshape the timeline of the race, with several states postponing their primary elections.
“As we navigate the unprecedented challenge of responding to the coronavirus, we’re exploring a range of contingency options to ensure we can deliver a successful convention without unnecessary risk to public health,” convention spokeswoman Katie Peters told the New York Times.
“This is a very fluid situation — and the convention is still more than three months away. We are committed to sharing updates with the public in the coming weeks and months as our plans continue to take shape,” Peters added.
The report immediately sparked rumors of convention changes, but DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa initially denied any changes.
“There are no plans to cancel the convention and we are not considering a rules change at this time,” Hinojosa said last week. “Contingency planning is a routine part of preparations for any convention.”
The Republican National Convention is slated to take place August 24 — one week after the DNC’s.