Biden no longer coming to Milwaukee to accept Democratic presidential nomination

NOW: Biden no longer coming to Milwaukee to accept Democratic presidential nomination

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will not travel to Milwaukee to accept his party's White House nomination because of concerns over the coronavirus.

The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) also announced Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 Democratic National Convention speakers will no longer travel to the state 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.

Biden was the last remaining vestige of the idea of an in person event that was originally supposed to bring 50,000 people and $200 million to Milwaukee.

“I can’t hide my disappointment," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.

Despite his dissapointment, Mayor Barrett said he agreed with the decision for public health reasons. Barrett said even though nobody is coming, he’s worried officially canceling the event could impact taxpayers.

“If it is officially canceled 100 percent, what will be the legal impact of that?" Barrett said to reporters asking if anything will be taking place in the city. "And so that’s what I am working on today, to determine what are the legal ramifications if it’s 100 percent canceled."

Cbs News Political Correspondent Ed O’Keefe says these conventions have grown increasingly virtual over the years anyways, but entirely pre-produced programming does take out the life of the crowd and the live aspect some viewers are want.

“I’d be very curious to see, given the captive audience that there is now most nights in America, since we’re all at home, whether people will watch, or whether they tune it out" O'Keefe said.

Barrett said he is working with the Milwaukee City Attorney’s Office to find out what will become of the $50 million federal security grant.

“The money we’ve been allocated by the federal government was tied to the national security event. Obviously we’re going to be making the case that when that money was allocated, it was a national security event.”

In accordance with this guidance, Biden will address the nation and accept the Democratic nomination from his home state of Delaware. Details about the location of the speech will be released at a later time. Other speakers who had been planning to come to Milwaukee will not travel to the city.

"From the very beginning of this pandemic, we put the health and safety of the American people first. We followed the science, listened to doctors and public health experts, and we continued making adjustments to our plans in order to protect lives. That’s the kind of steady and responsible leadership America deserves. And that’s the leadership Joe Biden will bring to the White House," said DNC Chair Tom Perez.

The news release from the DNCC says, Democrats have been working for months to build flexible plans that modernize and transform the convention experience for delegates and viewers across the country. From the start of the pandemic, contingencies were put in place for a successful convention that would ensure public health was protected. Today’s announcement represents a small adjustment to the overall planning, as the majority of speeches and segments were already taking place in locations across the country. Democrats will offer four nights of programming, which will include a mix of both pre-recorded segments and live broadcasts from locations across the country.

"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. 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,” said Joe Solmonese, CEO of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

The DNC will air for two hours each night, 9:00-11:00pm ET, from August 17-20, 2020. 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.

"This convention will look different than any previous convention in history. It will reach more people than ever before, and truly be a convention across America for all Americans, regardless of which party you belong to or who you’ve voted for in previous elections. This “unconventional” convention will launch Joe Biden to victory in November,” Solmonese added.

The official live stream for the 2020 Democratic Convention will be hosted on DemConvention.com, where viewers can also find the full convention schedule, and a digital tool kit to get involved.

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