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Democrats trim convention hours amid coronavirus pandemic

MILWAUKEE – Democrats will meet for just two hours each night of their national convention next month in Milwaukee, according to preliminary schedule for the event that has been scaled down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Joe Biden is expected to accept the party's presidential nomination on the final night of the convention, which runs Aug. 17-20, the schedule released late Wednesday said. Biden's vice presidential pick will be nominated Aug. 19 and is scheduled to address the mainly virtual gathering.

The pandemic has delegates casting ballots remotely, beginning next week. A safety plan announced Monday says everyone attending will have to wear a face mask, consent to daily testing for COVID-19, fill out questionnaires and maintain a physical distance from others.

“We are looking forward to a historic convention anchored in Milwaukee, and through the leadership of the permanent officers who will help oversee this convention Democrats will come together to continue the work to elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States,” DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a statement.

Typically, the party holds meetings during the day with delegates gathering for several hours each night to listen to speeches. This time, plans call for Democrats to meet from 8 to 10 p.m. Central Time each night.

The convention will be led by honorary chairwoman House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and honorary chairman U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.