CORONAVIRUS

DNC Panel To Set Stage For Virtual Democratic Convention Amid Coronavirus Concerns

The changes could allow presidential delegates to participate in the nomination process "without putting their own health at risk."

Members of the Democratic National Committee will vote on a proposal Tuesday that could allow a remote convention this summer should the coronavirus pandemic continue to wreak havoc around the nation, according to multiple reports.

The DNC’s rules and bylaws committee is expected to vote on the resolution during a virtual meeting, which would give the party’s presidential nominating convention team the wide authority to “plan a safe event that guarantees every delegate can accomplish their official business without putting their own health at risk,” reported Axios, which obtained a copy of an internal memo.

The changes, which are expected to be approved, could allow convention delegates to participate even if they were not there in person but give organizers “maximum flexibility” to do what they saw fit to hold the event in a safe environment. The Washington Post notes under the provisions it could also lead to a much smaller event than usual rather than the mass gathering that sees 5,000 voting delegates and thousands of other attendees gather to choose a party nominee.

“This resolution provides our team with increased flexibility to adjust our plans, ensure that every delegate is able to accomplish their official business without putting their own health at risk, and enables us to chart the most appropriate course forward as we work to launch our nominee to victory in November,” Joe Solomonese, the chief executive of the Democratic National Convention, told the Post in a statement.

The Democratic National Convention usually brings tens of thousands of people together to choose the party's candidate, as se
The Democratic National Convention usually brings tens of thousands of people together to choose the party's candidate, as seen here during the 2016 event in Philadelphia.

The new rules would still need to be approved by the full DNC in the coming weeks if they are passed.

The Democratic nominating convention is scheduled to begin Aug. 17 in Milwaukee after being pushed back from its initial date in July. 

The move reflects an abrupt about-face for the party after DNC Chairman Tom Perez said earlier this month that he expected the party to hold an in-person convention, saying he was “optimistic” it would happen.

“We’re not going to put our public health head in the sand, but I’m optimistic that we can do so because we’ve put it off for five weeks,” Perez told ABC News at the time. “We’re working with all of the public health experts — state, federal, local — and I’m excited about Milwaukee. I’m excited about this election, and I’m excited about making sure that Joe Biden has an opportunity to show what he’s fighting for.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden and the DNC announced a substantial fundraising haul on Monday despite the ongoing pandemic, saying they jointly raised more than $60 million in April. The presumptive presidential nominee entered into a joint-fundraising arrangement with the party at the end of last month after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) dropped out of the race. 

The figure is notable in that it came from a fully virtual campaign as the country is shut down amid the spread of the virus and both Biden and Trump have canceled any planned events.

“I am especially humbled because I know what a sacrifice it is to give in economic times as difficult as the one we’re in,” Biden wrote in a letter to supporters on Monday. “When staring down the face of economic uncertainty, you chose to put your money behind me.”


A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus