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Democratic convention moving from July to August amid coronavirus concerns

Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- The Democratic National Convention has been delayed until Aug. 17 because of the coronavirus sweeping the country.

"In our current climate of uncertainty, we believe the smartest approach is to take additional time to monitor how this situation unfolds so we can best position our party for a safe and successful convention," Joe Solmonese, CEO of the convention, said on Thursday.

"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 healthcare professionals and emergency responders," Solmonese said.

The move comes after Joe Biden, the likely nominee, expressed doubts this week about whether the convention could go on as scheduled fro July 13-16.

"I think it's going to have move into August," Biden told NBC late-night comedian Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday. "You just have to be prepared for the alternative, and the alternative -- we don't know what it's going to be."

The delay is another example of how the global pandemic, which has caused the deaths of nearly 5,000 Americans, has upended life. Fifteen states have delayed their primaries because of the contagious virus that causes COVID-19. Candidates have stopped holding rallies and have turned to creative ways to get their message out that do not involve large gatherings of voters.

 

The convention will still take place in Milwaukee, but is now scheduled to occur the week before the GOP meets on Aug. 24-27 to nominate President Donald Trump as their nominee.

Party conventions draw thousands of delegates, activists and donors. The nomination process is largely a done-deal -- for Democrats, Joe Biden has an all but insurmountable lead in delegates compared to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. But the pageantry of the conventions and the prime-time television speeches give the parties

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