No Hoopla: Virus overturns Trump and Biden convention plans

No Hoopla: Virus overturns Trump and Biden convention plans

Health

Around the last minute, President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, are scrambling for ways to embrace the presidential nominations of their parties impressively and safely, as the spread of the coronavirus brings fresh confusion to the White House race. Trump said Wednesday that he was considering delivering his acceptance speech on the White House grounds on August 27, a development that could break the rule of ethics.

Biden, meanwhile, abandoned plans to accept the Democratic nomination on 20 August in Milwaukee, where the party spent more than a year organizing a major convention. Presidential conventions are a staple of American politics and have played out amid national traumas as important as the Civil War and the Second World War. Yet the pandemic force is proving to be a tougher challenge, denying both candidates vital opportunities to interact with supporters in the final run-up to the Nov. 3 election.

The campaigns are looking for alternative ways to deal with the virus and by television and virtual events still reach millions of Americans. Long-term conference attendees say they will miss typical celebrations as well as recognize public health goals.

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