The Democratic National Convention has been pushed back from July to mid-August “in light of the unprecedented health crisis facing our country” in the form of the coronavirus pandemic, the DNC announced Thursday.
The move is meant to increase the chance that the party convention, which was slated to be held in Milwaukee and will still be held there, can continue safely with delegates, journalists and supporters still in attendance.
Originally, the convention was set to take place between July 13-16. The new convention will take place Aug. 17, one week ahead of the Republican National Convention, which President Donald Trump has said will still go forward.
“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. 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 health care professionals and emergency responders,” read a Thursday statement from Joe Solmonese, CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee.
Solmonese’s statement continued, “I have always believed that American innovation and ingenuity shine brightest during our darkest days, and for that reason, I’m confident our convention planning team and our partners will find a way to deliver a convention in Milwaukee this summer that places our Democratic nominee on the path to victory in November.”
A DNC statement pointed to Wisconsin’s “battleground” status when outlining why the convention, a first for the state, will be historic. On Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of two contenders for the Democratic nomination that will take place there Aug. 17, called for the April 7 primary in the state to be delayed in light of the virus, as well.