‘Hard Decision’: Democratic Convention Officials Tell Members Of Congress To Stay Away

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during her weekly news conference in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center July 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. Pelosi said that House Democrats want to get children and teachers safely back in the classroom but that would not be possible without President Donald Trump using the Defense Production Act to make more equipment to protect people from the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Democratic officials are telling members of Congress and Democratic delegates to stay away from the party convention next month.
Convention committee senior adviser Chasseny Lewis sent an email to Hill staff on Thursday directing them and congressional members to stay away from the convention scheduled to take place Aug. 17-20. The decision ensures that the event in Milwaukee will be mostly muted affair with only major speeches taking place in the convention center, according to The New York Times.“We have been working closely with state and local public health officials, as well epidemiologists, and have come to the hard decision that members of Congress should not plan to travel to Milwaukee,” Lewis said in the email. “No delegates will travel to Milwaukee, and Caucus and Council meetings will take place virtually.”
Auxiliary meetings, panels, and mixers that were scheduled to take place will be moved online or canceled completely. Party officials decided to cut back convention activities because of the coronavirus, convention committee communications director
“Ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone involved with the 2020 Democratic National Convention drives every decision we make,” convention committee communications director Katie Peters said. “This communication reiterates our guidance from several weeks ago that all members of state delegations — including elected leaders — should plan to conduct their official business remotely.”Officials planning the Republican convention have also scaled back their festivities because of the pandemic, though not nearly as much as the Democrats. Republican Party officials announced on Thursday that the audience would be limited to 2,500 people on the first three nights of the event. On the fourth night when President Trump is scheduled to give his acceptance speech, all delegates and their guests may attend.
“I want to make clear that we still intend to host a fantastic convention celebration in Jacksonville,” Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote in a letter. “We can gather and put on a top-notch event that celebrates the incredible accomplishments of President Trump’s administration and his re-nomination for a second term — while also doing so in a safe and responsible manner.”
While the convention’s headline events will take place in Jacksonville, Florida, many of the convention’s axillary meetings and strategy sessions will be conducted in North Carolina, which originally planned to host the entire convention before the outbreak of the coronavirus.Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper refused to allow Trump and the Republicans to hold a full convention in the state, so Trump directed McDaniel to move the convention somewhere that would allow for a “full” event.
“I love the Great State of North Carolina, so much so that I insisted on having the Republican National Convention in Charlotte at the end of August,” Trump said a series of tweets on May 25. “Unfortunately, Democrat Governor [Roy Cooper] is still in Shutdown mood [and] unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed full attendance in the Arena.”
“Plans are being made by many thousands of enthusiastic Republicans, and others, to head to beautiful North Carolina in August,” Trump continued. “They must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied. If not, we will be reluctantly forced to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site.”

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