2020 Election

Biden Won’t Travel to Accept Dem Nomination

The Democratic nominee travelled just days before, but cites ‘public health’ as reason for his absence

Joe Biden / Getty Images

Joe Biden will not travel to Milwaukee to accept his nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention, CNN reported Wednesday.

After consultation with the DNC, campaign staffers, and public health officials, Biden's campaign announced that the coronavirus pandemic made it too hazardous for the former vice president to travel to accept the nomination. He will instead accept it from his home state of Delaware.

The unannounced vice presidential pick will not attend either, a party spokesperson confirmed. Earlier reports indicated Biden would choose his running mate around August 1, but the campaign has yet to announce its choice. Scrutiny over hopefuls such as Rep. Karen Bass (D., Calif.) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) has continued to intensify.

"The fear of community spread in Milwaukee, with media, production teams and party officials was just getting to be too much," a senior Democratic official said. "We don't want to risk anyone's health for this."

Despite the campaign's tone of caution, Biden’s recent travel schedule has included trips outside of Delaware. The former vice president recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to pay his respects to the late congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis.

Biden has kept a low media profile since the pandemic began. In July, after President Donald Trump's interview with Fox News's Chris Wallace, many suggested that Wallace interview the Democratic nominee. Despite overtures from Wallace himself, Biden declined these interview requests.

Some Biden supporters are even entertaining the idea that the Democrat should decline to debate Trump this fall.

Biden has attempted to defend his cognitive ability amid apparent withdrawal from media appearances. He made headlines Wednesday when he asked a reporter if he was a "junkie." When asked if he took a cognitive fitness test akin to the one taken by Trump, Biden lashed out, saying he had not.

"No, I haven't taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test? Come on, man," Biden said. "That's like saying to you, before you got on this program if you had taken a test were you taking cocaine or not. What do you think, huh? Are you a junkie?"

The Democratic National Convention is scheduled to take place August 17-20.