“I doubt whether the Democratic Convention is going to be able to be held in mid-July, early July. I think it's going to have to move into August,” the all-but-certain Democratic presidential nominee said Wednesday night in an interview with Jimmy Fallon on NBC’s "The Tonight Show."
Biden pointed out that “even then, the Republican and Democratic Convention, we're going to have to ... we just have to be prepared for the alternative and the alternative.”
The former vice president hinted that how long the worst effects of the pandemic last will determine convention planning.
The coronavirus outbreak, which has spread globally, has forced most Americans to huddle in their homes in hopes of preventing the spread of the virus, which causes the deadly COVID-19 disease. Those venturing outside are urged to practice social distancing – keeping a minimum of six feet apart – and all large gatherings have been scrapped.
Biden said in an interview on MSNBC on Tuesday night that “it’s hard to envision” thousands of Democratic convention delegates, officials, media and other spectators packed inside an arena this summer.
But Biden added that “we ought to be able to do what we were able to do in the middle of the Civil War all the way through to World War II: have Democratic and Republican conventions, and primaries, and elections, and still have public safety. And we're able to do both. But the fact is that it may have to be different."
The Democratic convention is currently scheduled to be held July 13-16 in Milwaukee, Wis. A source with knowledge of the Democratic National Committee’s planning told Fox News that moving the date of the convention – as difficult as that seems – is under discussion, as well as options to scale back the enormous quadrennial event.
Democratic National Convention Committee CEO Joe Solmonese, in a statement to Fox News, emphasized that “as we continue to put plans in place for a successful Democratic National Convention this summer, we will balance protecting the health and well-being of convention attendees and our host city with our responsibility to deliver this historic and critical occasion.”
As the likely nominee, Biden and his team will have a good amount of say in any final decision regarding the convention.
Biden suggested that pushing back the date of the convention to August is now easier to do after the International Olympic Committee postponed the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo – which were originally scheduled for July 24 to August 9.
“One of the reasons why the Democratic convention was going to be held early was the Olympics were coming,” Biden noted. “There's more time now.”
The Republican Convention is scheduled to be held Aug. 24-27 in Charlotte, N.C.
Sixty-two percent of registered voters questioned in a Marquette Law School survey released Wednesday said that given the outbreak, the convention should not be held as an in-person event, with 22 percent saying the massive gathering should take place as scheduled.