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'No Plans' To Change Republican, Democratic Conventions For Now

This summer's Republican and Democratic conventions are still on, and organizers have no plans to change them at this point, despite fears of prolonged closings and disruptions to American life due to the novel coronavirus, officials from both parties said.

There are no talks of canceling the Democratic National Convention, Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said.

Tatum Gibson, press secretary for the 2020 Republican National Convention, similarly said the Republican convention is still on, but that organizers are working closely with officials and monitoring the situation to see if changes are needed and to "ensure every necessary precaution is taken into account."

"We prioritize the health and safety of delegates, media, guests, community members and staff, and we have full faith and confidence in the administration's aggressive actions to address COVID-19," Gibson said.

Both parties say they are taking guidance from health officials and the Secret Service.

"There's a lot of uncertainty around the virus," said Hinojosa, whose party is more urgently affected because the convention is slated to begin July 13 in Milwaukee. "No one knows how long it will last. ... We are taking things day-to-day at this point and as the Secret Service and health professionals give guidance, we'll take that guidance."

The Republicans' convention is a month later, scheduled to begin Aug. 24 in Charlotte.

The DNC is also facing a big challenge in the current presidential primary race, as a number of states have changed or postponed their primaries and their delegate selection processes. The party is working with states on fitting in those changes to the party's rules.

Hinojosa confirmed that no one within the DNC or the team working on the convention in Milwaukee has tested positive for the coronavirus. So work is continuing with the full convention team in Milwaukee.

"No one knows what's going to happen in July, so we're just not there yet," Hinojosa said. "We will monitor it, and if in a few weeks, it looks bad, we will make contingency plans. At the moment, no one knows where this goes."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.

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