Former US Vice President Joe Biden will not be travelling to Milwaukee to formally accept the Democratic presidential nomination at the party’s national convention due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced.
Instead, he will now accept the party’s presidential nomination from his home state of Delaware, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal.
The convention was scheduled to take place from August 17-20.
Organizers said in a statement on Wednesday that there had been ongoing consultation with public officials and experts over the COVID-19 situation.
The decision on speakers not travelling to Milwaukee was made “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”, it said.
Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, said: “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.”
Biden hasn’t campaigned in person in the state of Wisconsin at all this year, although he has made several virtual campaign appearances, said the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal report.
In 2018, he appeared in Wisconsin on behalf of Democratic candidates.
Responding to the announcement, President Donald Trump’s campaign said: “Joe Biden is repeating the mistakes from the 2016 campaign. The fact remains that President Donald Trump has delivered on his promises to Wisconsin voters and he will carry the state again in November.”
Observers have said the latest change was a strong signal that the 2020 DNC, set to be held is going to take place almost entirely virtually and no major speeches will be delivered from Milwaukee.