As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Democratic National Convention has been moved to a later date.
Originally scheduled for July 13-16, the convention is now tentatively slated to begin Aug. 1 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The party’s presumptive nominee has suggested it could be done virtually.
"Well, we're going to have to do a convention. We may have to do a virtual convention. I think we should be thinking about that right now,” former Vice President Joe Biden told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. “The idea of holding the convention is going to be necessary. We may not be able to put 10, 20, 30,000 people in one place and that's very possible. Again let's see where it is — and what we do between now and then is going to dictate a lot of that as well. But my point is that I think you just got to follow the science.”
Biden criticized the Trump administration for its response to COVID-19, urging the President to pick up the pace and move more swiftly and rapidly to the crisis. Specifically, Biden said Trump needed to implement the Defense Production Act and empower supply chain commanders.
“You gotta go faster other than slower and we started out awful slow,” Biden said.
Biden’s remaining Democratic rival, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont appeared remotely on Real Time with Bill Maher Friday night. Sanders agreed the Defense Production Act is essential to prevent a breakdown of the entire health care system.
“We need to use the Defense Production Act to tell the private sector — who will be well compensated — you must produce the masks, gowns, gloves and ventilators that the health care system requires,” Sanders told Maher.
During the interview Sanders also advocated for more testing of workers, rent relief and took a shot at Trump’s $500 billion bailout of corporations.
“If you think that during a campaign you’re not going to see a lot of money from the Trump administration going to battleground states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida — you would be grossly underestimating the venaility of this President,” Sanders said.
On April 1, the U.S. State Department revealed it had purchased needed medical supplies, including ventilators and personal protective equipment from Russia. The deal took place in New York City following a telephone call between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The medical supplies were immediately handed over to FEMA, the State Department reported.
“This is a time to work together to overcome a common enemy that threatens the lives of all of us,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said.
Trump has referred to COVID-19 as the “invisible enemy” but has refused to postpone or cancel the Republican National Convention, scheduled for Aug. 24-27 in Charlotte, N.C.
LGBT Notes: Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg rolled out Win The Era, his new political action committee last week. Buttigieg won the Iowa Caucus in February, but dropped out weeks later and endorsed Biden. Through his PAC, Buttigieg is asking for input on future elections. “We’ll be rolling out a series of endorsements — but many of America’s most promising emerging leaders are not well known, so I’d love to hear from you,” Buttigieg tweeted.