DNC chair says summer convention will continue despite coronavirus concerns

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Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said Tuesday that the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee is still set to take place despite the recent coronavirus outbreak.

“I don’t think the Democratic convention in jeopardy,” Perez told NPR on Tuesday. “I met with some folks today, and I’m confident we can put that on.”

The convention is set for July 13 through July 16.

Perez’s comments come as cases of the coronavirus have increased in the United States and around the world. Recent data compiled from Johns Hopkins University showed that there are now almost 1,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. across 30 different states. 

Fears of the spreading disease have led to a large number of event cancellations, including concerts, campaign rallies and sports games. Other events, such as the next Democratic debate hosted by CNN, will take place without an audience. 

Perez told the outlet he has been in contact with local and state officials to ensure the convention currently planned is safe. The Democratic chairman also expressed confidence the party would be unified behind the eventual nominee by that point.

“I actually have a lot of confidence that whoever wins this nomination, the other person will come together and be exceedingly enthusiastic,” Perez said. “It is a spirited debate they have, but it is an above-the-belt debate,” he continued. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has, since former Vice President Joe Biden opened up a lead in the primaries, vowed that he will support Biden if he is the nominee.

Three cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Wisconsin as of Tuesday.The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee extended its spring break and moved classes online after an employee was tested for the virus, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. Test results are expected by the end of the week.

Tags Bernie Sanders Coronavirus Joe Biden Tom Perez

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