Milwaukee DNC host committee cuts staff by half

The Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Milwaukee convention host committee cut its staff by half as it faces logistical struggles in organizing the convention amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization will reduce staff from 31 to 14 full-time employees. Of those cut, 11 were offered other positions with either the convention committee or the party, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported. The six remaining staffers who were laid off will keep their health insurance plan until August. 

“The entire nation is facing the unprecedented challenge of responding to the coronavirus pandemic, and unfortunately, the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee is no different,” Raquel Filmanowicz, CEO of the host committee, told The Hill in a statement. “In this climate of uncertainty, we must adjust our plans to match the new reality we’re facing as a nation.”

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Earlier this month, the host committee announced that they would be pushing the convention from July to August due to coronavirus fears. 

Since then, the pandemic has continued to spread as federal and state leaders remain uncertain as to when they will reopen businesses and scale back social distancing guidelines. 

On Wednesday, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the DNC chairman from 2001 to 2005, said he thought it is “very unlikely” there would be an in-person convention in Milwaukee, suggesting Democrats find “creative” alternatives.

“The TV networks are going to give you the equal time that you would have at the convention, so come up with something clever around the country to do it to get the same media exposure,” McAuliffe told USA TODAY. “You can build, obviously, a stage anywhere you want, but there are a lot of creative that you need to do.”

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has suggested the convention be moved to a virtual platform. 

“Well, we’re going to have to do a convention — may have to do a virtual convention,” Biden said.

“I think we should be thinking about that right now,” he said. “The idea of holding the convention is going to be necessary.”

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