‘As we navigate the unprecedented challenge of responding to the coronavirus, we’re exploring a range of contingency options…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Presidential candidate Joe Biden said Tuesday that it is “hard to envision” the Democratic Party holding its national convention, which is scheduled to take place in Milwaukee in July, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The primary and general elections must still take place, Biden told MSNBC, but the process “may have to be different.”
“We ought to be able—we were able to do it in the middle of the Civil War all the way through to World War II—have Democratic and Republican conventions and primaries and elections and still have public safety,” he said. “And we’re able to do both … There’s no rationale for eliminating or delaying the election.”
Just a few weeks ago, Biden shot down the idea of canceling the convention, arguing that it’s important to move forward with the normal “democratic processes.”
“We’d have to change the rules,” Perez said. “We’re not contemplating rule changes.”
The DNC’s current rules and bylaws require the delegates to vote in person.
“I’m very confident that we’re going to be able to carry it off,” Perez told Axios in a March 12 interview, “and I’m equally confident in the competence of our team.”
Less than a month later, several top Democrats predict the party won’t hold the convention at all.
“I’m not sure we’re going to have a convention,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo. “I think both parties are very likely, I hope, to agree on postponing the convention or doing something that won’t bring thousands of people together to kill each other ultimately with COVID-19.”
Another senior Democrat told Fox News that even if the convention moves forward as planned, no one will want to attend it.
“I think the thing’s going to be canceled,” the Democrat said. “And I think a whole lot of people don’t want to go either.”
A spokeswoman for the DNC said the situation is “very fluid,” but as of right now there is not an official plan to cancel the convention.
“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,” DNC communications director Katie Peters said in a statement.
“This is a very fluid situation—and the convention is still more than three months away,” she continued. “We are committed to sharing updates with the public in the coming weeks and months as our plans continue to take shape.”
In light of the possible cancellation, Democrats are also trying to convince the Republican Party to convince its August 24-27 convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. President Donald Trump, however, said late last month that there’s “no way” he’d cancel the event.
“We are definitely planning—it’s toward the end of August,” Trump told Fox News.
“Somebody was asking today, ‘Will you cancel your convention?’ I said no way I’m going to cancel the convention,” he added. “We’re going to have the convention, it’s going to be incredible.”