Joe Biden said Sunday that Democratic National Committee officials should consider holding a “virtual” convention rather than an in-person gathering should the coronavirus crisis persist into the summer.
The DNC announced Thursday that it was postponing the start of its presidential nominating convention to Aug. 17. It had been scheduled to kick off in Milwaukee on July 13.
Asked if he’s open to the possibility that the DNC may not be able to host the event in August, Biden, the frontrunner in the party’s 2020 presidential race, said on ABC’s “This Week” that holding a convention is “necessary.”
“We’re going to have to do a convention ― may have to be a virtual convention,” the former vice president said. “I think we should be thinking about that right now. The idea of holding a convention is going to be necessary, but we may not be able to put 10, 20, 30,000 people in one place and that’s very possible.”
“What we do between now and then is going to dictate a lot of that as well,” he continued. “We have never, never let our democracy [play] second fiddle. ... We can both have a democracy and elections and at the same time correct the public health.”
At least 15 states have postponed their primaries due to the pandemic. Biden said Sunday that he believes state officials should “follow the science” when deciding whether the contests should be moved to another date.
“It’s time we start thinking about how we’re going to hold elections,” he said. “How are we going to do that? How are we going to make it available to everyone?”
DNC Chair Tom Perez told The New York Times last week he’s not in favor of hosting a virtual convention, fearing it would be likely to garner less media coverage.
“We’re going to hold a very exciting and safe convention in Wisconsin to highlight our nominee and to make sure that people know the values of the Democratic Party and what we’re fighting for,” Perez said.
The Democratic convention is now slated to be held a week before the Republican National Convention that is set for Charlotte, North Carolina.
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