WASHINGTON: US Democrats on Thursday postponed their national convention until August 17 over concerns about coronavirus, pushing back by five weeks the gathering that nominates the party’s candidate to challenge Donald Trump in November, reports AFP.
“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,” Democratic National Convention Committee head Joe Solmonese said in a statement.The decision came after the party’s likely nominee, Joe Biden, said the convention, originally scheduled for July 13-16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, would likely need to be delayed to allow for a greater chance of holding a safe in-person gathering.
The pandemic has already killed more than 5,300 people in the United States, which has a world-leading tally of over 226,000 confirmed infections.
Roughly nine in 10 Americans are under stay-at-home orders, and a staggering 10 million people in the country have filed for unemployment benefits in the last two weeks.
The US Democratic nomination race has boiled down to former vice president Biden, the clear frontrunner, and his lone remaining rival, the liberal Senator Bernie Sanders. But conventional on-the-ground campaigning has been frozen for some three weeks in efforts to avoid viral spread.