Joe Biden will no longer travel to Milwaukee to accept Democratic nomination

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FILE – In this June 17, 2020, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Darby, Pa. The coronavirus pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon, but campaigns are still forging ahead with in-person organizing. The pandemic upended elections this year, forcing campaigns to shift their organizing activities almost entirely online and compelling both parties to reconfigure their conventions. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Joe Biden will no longer accept the Democratic presidential nomination in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the Democratic National Convention, officials said Wednesday.

Biden will instead accept the Democratic nomination for president from his home state of Delaware, 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,” said Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said in a statement.

One official told CNN the decision was announced internally Wednesday morning.

A Biden campaign spokesman declined to comment.

Health officials in Wisconsin have informed the Democratic National Convention Committee that speakers for the 2020 Democratic convention should no longer travel to Milwaukee due to the coronavirus, a source familiar told CNN.

That includes Biden and his eventual running mate. Neither will travel to Milwaukee, the source said.

This is the latest — and strongest — sign that the Democratic convention is going to happen almost entirely virtually.

This comes after ongoing consultations between health officials and convention officials about the pandemic.

The only speakers originating from Milwaukee now, a party official said, will be Wisconsin voters and officials who are part of the program. They will be prominent in the convention speaking lineup, along with people from other swing states. But no major speeches will be delivered from Milwaukee.

“The fear of community spread in Milwaukee, with media, production teams and party officials was just getting to be too much,” a senior Democratic official told CNN. “We don’t want to risk anyone’s health for this.”

The change in locations for Biden’s speech is the most significant change, along with his running mate. The vice presidential nominee will deliver a speech from a location to be determined after she is selected, the party official said.

The change is yet another blow for Milwaukee. But the official said the rise in Wisconsin cases — as well as coronavirus cases across the country — led to the change.

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