The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has no immediate plans to cancel the Democrat convention this summer, DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa confirmed on Monday.
The DNC has no immediate plans to suspend or cancel the July 13–16 gathering at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the United States.
“There are no plans to cancel the convention and we are not considering a rules change at this time,” Hinojosa said, according to Politico. “Contingency planning is a routine part of preparations for any convention.”
Her statement followed reports of the DNC crafting backup plans in the event of the pandemic extending all the way into the summer. According to a source cited by the New York Times, DNC organizers have been engaged in “intensive scenario-planning”:
Among the complicating factors are the uncertain nature of the professional basketball season — the arena hosting the convention is home to the Milwaukee Bucks, a top N.B.A. team likely to play deep into the playoffs if the league’s season were to restart — and how the party’s delegates will be selected. Delegates in most states are elected to the national convention from state conventions, but many state conventions, scheduled for late spring and early summer, are also being postponed.
Democrats are also forced to face the fact that, while the numbers are in favor of Joe Biden (D), they do not yet have a nominee. Several states are postponing their primary elections, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has yet to bow out of the race, which adds to the mounting uncertainty.
Convention spokeswoman Katie Peters acknowledged the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus and the impact it could have on the convention but did not say that the DNC is changing plans — at least not yet.
“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,” Peters said, according to the New York Times.
“This is a very fluid situation — and the convention is still more than three months away. We are committed to sharing updates with the public in the coming weeks and months as our plans continue to take shape,” she added.
As Politico notes, the DNC has a host of potential options “if a traditional convention is not possible, including postponing the gathering or changing the rules to allow delegates to vote remotely.”
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