- The Washington Times - Monday, March 23, 2020

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez on Monday said the party is planning for “every eventuality” for its national convention in July amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“We’re obviously in regular touch with both federal, state and local officials. We are planning and hoping for the best, but planning for every eventuality and safety will always be paramount in planning the convention,” Mr. Perez said on a conference call with reporters on a separate topic.

“We still have roughly four months until the convention and so we will continue to be in regular contact with all of the relevant stakeholders, including but not limited to public health professionals federally and at a state and local level in Wisconsin,” he said.

The Democratic National Convention is scheduled to take place July 13-16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

But it’s unclear how such a massive event can go on as scheduled if current guidance and restrictions on crowds are still in place down the line.

Earlier this month, when the crisis was not nearly at the point it is now, Mr. Perez had said he wasn’t contemplating rules changes to hold a virtual or online convention, for example.

The Republican National Convention is scheduled to take place from Aug. 24-27 in Charlotte, N.C.

Michael Whatley, who chairs the North Carolina Republican Party, said over the weekend that the RNC is “firmly committed” to moving forward with its convention at this time.

“However, the RNC is closely monitoring conditions regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and is working closely with federal, state, and local governments in order to determine whether they will need to make any changes to the schedule,” Mr. Whatley said in an open letter to state Republicans.

Mr. Whatley also said that remaining county and district conventions will be conducted virtually via teleconference and online platforms.

He said that “at this time,” they plan on holding the state party convention, set for May 14-17 in Greenville, as scheduled.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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