On Wednesday, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced at a virtual fundraiser that he would not be attending the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in person. Biden was one of the scheduled speakers of the convention and had planned to formally accept the Democratic presidential nomination there. Now, he will be accepting the nomination from Delaware, his home state.

Biden’s decision comes as another result of the novel coronavirus epidemic. “I’ve wanted to set an example as to how we should respond individually to this crisis,” Biden said.

According to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Biden’s yet-to-be unannounced running mate will also be participating in the convention remotely, as will former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. Some Wisconsin officials as well as a few Democratic officials, including DNC Chair Tom Perez, will still speak at the convention center in person.

Perez said that the convention organizers decided to make the convention virtual after consulting with public health officials. Up until late June, the DNC still planned for an in-person convention with speakers but no delegates.


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“We followed the science, listened to the doctors and public health experts, and we continued making adjustments to our plans in order to protect lives. That’s the kind of steady and responsible leadership America deserves,” Perez said.

In contrast, the Republican National Convention has scaled back its plans but will still bring together 336 delegates to Charlotte, North Carolina. The RNC health protocols include temperature checks, pre-travel testing, social distancing and masks.

The Democratic National Convention will run from Aug. 17 to Aug. 20. It had already been postponed from July because of COVID-19 concerns. The convention will broadcast two hours of programming each night, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, and Biden will accept his nomination on the final night.

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