Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said Wednesday he doesn’t know how many delegates will be on hand for his party’s national convention in Milwaukee.
But Perez reaffirmed Democrats will stage their event the week of Aug.17, despite uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
During a conference call with Wisconsin reporters, Perez said he looked forward to “when we descend on Milwaukee to celebrate our party, to have a safe and effective convention where we will highlight Joe Biden and his historic choice as a running mate.”
While Democrats are doubling down on Milwaukee, Republicans appear on the verge of pulling most of their main convention out of Charlotte, North Carolina, with Jacksonville, Florida emerging as the front-runner.
President Donald Trump and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper dispute how to conduct the convention, Aug. 24-27, during a pandemic.
Trump has sought a convention with all the bells and whistles while Cooper has pushed for a more limited event because of the pandemic.
Perez said “we will follow the science and we will not abandon Milwaukee.”
When asked how many people would attend the Democratic convention, Perez said, “We don’t know the answer today because we don’t know what the public health situation on the ground will be.
“Unlike Donald Trump, we are actually going to listen to the public health experts as we come to Milwaukee because we believe it’s really important to have a safe, exciting, inspiring convention in Milwaukee and I’m confident we can do that.”
Perez added: “Donald Trump is abandoning Charlotte because they won’t have him, they won’t allow him to conduct an ego fest. That’s what he wants. He wants a large crowd to massage his ego.”
Perez said as soon as he knows how many people will attend, “we will let you know.”
“What we have done is provide flexibility to our convention planners so that they can continue to consult with those public health experts and make the right decision.”
With the unemployment rate in double digits, Perez and others on the call criticized Trump’s economic policies.
Perez said the country is “in the middle of a pandemic, a jobs crisis, a democracy crisis.”
He and U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, also spoke of the importance of voting by those protesting police brutality and racial inequity.
Moore also weighed in on Biden’s potential vice presidential choice.
She said: “I think that having an African American woman be nominated for vice president would be excellent, as long as it’s not me.”
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