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DNC Postpones Presidential Convention to August over Coronavirus Fears

A man walks past an advertisement for the Democratic National Convention at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, N.C September 2, 2012. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

The Democratic National Committee will push back its presidential primary one month to August 17, despite claiming last week that the Milwaukee convention would held as planned.

Joe Solmonese, CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee, said in a statement that the decision was based on “the smartest approach” to the growing Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

“During this critical time, when the scope and scale of the pandemic and its impact remain unknown, we will continue to monitor the situation and follow the advice of health care professionals and emergency responders,” he said. ” . . . I’m confident our convention planning team and our partners will find a way to deliver a convention in Milwaukee this summer that places our Democratic nominee on the path to victory in November.”

The announcement comes after former vice president and Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden said Wednesday night that he expected the delay. “I doubt whether the Democratic Convention is going to be able to be held in mid-July, early July. I think it’s going to have to move into August,” Biden told Jimmy Fallon on NBC’s The Tonight Show.

The DNC’s convention will now happen a week before the RNC’s convention from August 24-27 in Charlotte. North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley insisted last week that his team was “firmly committed to moving forward” with the date.

Politico reported last week that Democrats were planning for a delay of their original plan for the convention being July 13-16, after walk-throughs of the site were postponed and organizing personnel were working from home, but the party publicly rejected the claim.

“There are no plans to cancel the convention and we are not considering a rules change at this time,” Xochitl Hinojosa, the DNC’s communications director, said. “Contingency planning is a routine part of preparations for any convention.”

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