Biden won't accept nomination in Milwaukee

DNC Convention could become completely virtual

Joe Biden in Delaware
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about his plans to combat racial inequality at a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., July 28, 2020. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst

In another blow to an event that once promised to put Milwaukee in the national spotlight, Joe Biden has canceled plans to accept the Democratic nomination for president in person at the party's national convention, due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Other speakers who had been planning to come to Milwaukee also won't travel to the city according to the Democratic National Convention Committee.

"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," DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a statement.

Biden is expected to accept the nomination from his home in the state of Delaware. Details about the location of the speech will be released at a later time.

Biden’s appearance in Milwaukee was one of the few remaining parts of the convention that would have been in-person. The DNC has vastly scaled back the event from a 50,000-person, four-day party to a virtual reminder of how much the pandemic has changed the world.


"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," Joe Solmonese, CEO of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, said in a statement.

Milwaukee was chosen in March 2019 to host the DNC, beating out Miami and Houston. The Democratic National Committee chose the city, and the purple state of Wisconsin, where President Donald Trump had won in 2016. Before then, Republicans hadn't won Wisconsin since 1984.

The convention was expected to have an economic impact of $200 to $300 million. The pandemic has caused the committee to make several changes before today, first postponing the convention from July to the week of Aug. 17, and later announcing it would be mostly virtual.

In a statement, Gov. Tony Evers, who endorsed Biden this week, said the convention is different than imagined, but the party's commitment is putting health and safety first.

"It has never been more important for elected officials to lead by example — that’s the kind of leader Joe is, and that’s the kind of president we need. I know he will continue to have a presence in Wisconsin, virtually or otherwise, and I look forward to doing everything we can to win Wisconsin," Evers said.

Wisconsin Public Radio can be heard in the Twin Ports at 91.3 FM or online at .

Wisconsin Public Radio, © Copyright 2020, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.

What To Read Next
Get Local