(The Center Square) – It may not be possible to make Milwaukee’s Democratic National Convention any smaller. 

Presumptive nominee Joe Biden on Wednesday said he will not be present to accept the Democratic nomination for president, nor will he speak from the convention in Milwaukee. His campaign said they did not want to travel because of spiking coronavirus numbers in Wisconsin and across the country. 

“We followed the science, listened to doctors and public health experts, and we continued making adjustments to our plans in order to protect lives,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement. “That’s the kind of steady and responsible leadership America deserves. And that’s the leadership Joe Biden will bring to the White House.”

The CEO of Milwaukee’s DNC also tried to put the best possible spin on Biden’s decision. 

“2020 will always be remembered as a year of once-in-a-lifetime challenges and changes – but it will also be remembered as a time when Americans were their most compassionate and resilient selves. While we wish we could move forward with welcoming the world to beautiful Milwaukee in two weeks, we recognize protecting the health of our host community and everyone involved with this convention must be paramount,” Joe Solmonese, CEO of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, said. 

“The upcoming Democratic convention is different than we’d imagined. A lot has changed since we set out on this journey more than a year ago now,” Gov. Tony Evers said on Wednesday. “It has never been more important for elected officials to lead by example – that’s the kind of leader Joe is, and that’s the kind of president we need. I know he will continue to have a presence in Wisconsin, virtually or otherwise, and I look forward to doing everything we can to win Wisconsin.”

Republicans in Wisconsin said Biden’s decision to abandon Wisconsin is telling. 

“It’s becoming clear that Democrats have not learned from their mistakes in 2016 and are poised to repeat them again in 2020,” Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt said. “Joe Biden has not visited the state of Wisconsin once this year and now is using coronavirus concerns as an excuse for his absence despite recent travel to other states. What’s even more clear in Joe Biden’s refusal to travel to even take a private plane to Milwaukee to accept his party’s nomination in a nearly empty room, is that he would rather use the COVID-19 pandemic for political gain rather than lead the country.”

Hitt said the decision was a continuation of Biden’s nonexistent campaign.

“Do Democrats think that they can keep Joe Biden hidden in his basement through Election Day?” Hitt asked. 

Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square. Reposted with permission.

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