By Felicia Sonmez, Matt Viser and Michael Scherer,
Former vice president Joe Biden will not travel to Milwaukee to accept the Democratic presidential nomination due to coronavirus concerns, convention organizers confirmed Wednesday.
Biden will deliver his speech accepting the nomination later this month in his home state of Delaware, organizers said.
The move marks the latest disruption in plans for what is typically a political festival but is now being conducted almost entirely virtually. It comes after President Trump, who had attempted to hold the Republican National Convention in Charlotte and then Jacksonville, began exploring the option of delivering his speech from the South Lawn at the White House.
Democratic convention organizers said they were taking the step “in order to prevent risking the health of our host community as well as the convention’s production teams, security officials, community partners, media and others necessary to orchestrate the event.”
“2020 will always be remembered as a year of once-in-a-lifetime challenges and changes — but it will also be remembered as a time when Americans were their most compassionate and resilient selves,” Joe Solmonese, CEO of the Democratic National Convention, said in a statement. “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.”
News of the decision was first reported by Bloomberg News.
Democrats had previously scaled back their convention plans, with most speakers recording their remarks in an attempt to create a made-for-TV event that would air over several nights. It was to culminate on a Thursday night speech by Biden in Milwaukee, to a small crowd.
Biden’s campaign declined to comment Wednesday, but convention planners announced that all speakers, including Biden, would no longer travel to Milwaukee.
Details about the location of Biden’s speech in Delaware will be released at a later date, the organizers said.