Biden says Democratic convention should not be canceled amid pandemic

Biden says Democratic convention should not be canceled amid pandemic
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Poll: Trump, Biden in dead heat in 2020 matchup Coronavirus pushes GOP's Biden-Burisma probe to back burner MORE on Tuesday shot down the prospect of canceling the Democratic National Convention amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, saying that it is possible to fight the pandemic while moving forward with normal “democratic processes.”

In an interview on CNN, the former vice president also said that no scheduled elections should be called off during the outbreak; however, he raised the possibility that people may have to turn to other means to participate in the political process, like voting by mail. 

“I don’t think it should be called off and I don’t think we should call off any of the elections,” Biden told CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperCNN's Jake Tapper spars with Trump on Twitter: 'Utter nonsense' Biden says he has not been tested for coronavirus: I've had 'no symptoms' Biden says Democratic convention should not be canceled amid pandemic MORE. “I think we just have to move forward. We may have to use different means and methods. There’s an awful lot of direct mail voting going on right now, which may be one of the answers.”

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Biden’s comments come as Democrats and Republicans grapple with how to proceed with scheduled national conventions this summer in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Democratic convention is scheduled to take place in Milwaukee in July, but organizers say they are considering “contingency options” should the coronavirus outbreak continue to pose a threat to public health over the summer. 

Although it’s unclear what those contingency plans entail, no decision would likely be made without the approval of Biden’s campaign. He has opened up a nearly insurmountable delegate lead in the primary contest in recent weeks and is on a clear path to clinching the nomination.

The coronavirus pandemic has already had an effect on the political process in the U.S. — candidates up and down the ballot have canceled or reworked campaign events in recent weeks and a handful of states have postponed scheduled primaries and caucuses out of concern that in-person voting risks spreading the disease.

The impact of the coronavirus on U.S. elections was on display last week when three states — Florida, Illinois and Arizona — saw a slump in primary day voter turnout. Florida and Arizona, however, still saw an uptick in total votes cast, primarily due to robust statewide mail-in voting programs.

Other states including Hawaii, Wyoming and Alaska are switching to voting entirely by mail for their nominating contests next month.