Biden and other guest speakers no longer to attend as organizers prioritize health, safety.
Time of Death: 10:16 a.m., Aug. 5, as the planned Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee is formally taken off life support with an announcement that presumptive nominee Joe Biden and other guest speakers will no longer be coming for even a scaled-down virtual event due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
“From the very beginning of this pandemic, we put the health and safety of the American people first,” Democratic National Committee Chair 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.”
Local convention chief executive officer Joe Solmonese also cited safety as paramount over any form of political showmanship.
“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,” Solmonese said.
Biden will accept his party’s nomination and speak from his home in Delaware, rather than the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee. The convention was to be held there after it was initially scaled down and moved from the Fiserv Forum.
The convention had been expected to bring tens of thousands of delegates, politicians, media, volunteers and others to downtown Milwaukee. The cancellation removes all of the incoming lunch money, dinner checks, room fees, gratuities, and countless other forms of financial stimulus from an area that had already been hit hard when the Milwaukee Bucks, then well into the running for an NBA championship drive, also canceled their Fiserv Forum activities because of COVID-19.
“It has never been more important for elected officials to lead by example—that’s the kind of leader Joe is, and that’s the kind of president we need,” said Gov. Tony Evers in a statement. “I know he will continue to have a presence in Wisconsin, virtually or otherwise, and I look forward to doing everything we can to win Wisconsin.”
The show will still go on, online.
“Democrats will offer four nights of programming,” the DNC said in a Wednesday morning release, “which will include a mix of both pre-recorded segments and live broadcasts from locations across the country for two hours each night, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., CT, from Aug 17-20. A custom virtual video control room has been designed to take in hundreds of feeds from around the country, including the potential of interacting with Americans from around the country.”