Former Vice President Joe Biden, a 75-year-old rumored Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, is won’t be campaigning as planned for Democrats in Illinois because of “doctor’s orders” to limit travel.
Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association President Doug House announced Tuesday night that Biden will not attend the Illinois State Fair’s Democrat Day on Thursday to stump for gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, just days after organizers expanded the event to accommodate more people.
“Everyone who knows Vice President Biden knows that he gives our party and our country his all, but unfortunately he is sick and is under doctor’s orders not to travel,” House said in a statement published by CapitolFax.com.
“The cancellation is of course disappointing, but it is clear that the circumstances are simply unavoidable. We all hope he gets well soon and I’m sure he’ll be back campaigning for Democrats in Illinois and across the country in no time,” he said.
Biden’s absence “will be noticeable at Thursday’s events,” the Chicago Sun-Times reports, as he will be replaced with South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttiglieg as keynote speaker.
That’s undoubtedly a let down for the thousands of Democrats who signed up for the special brunch at the Springfield hotel to kick off the state fair.
Toby Trimmer, spokesman for the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association, told the State Journal-Register that the organization made special arrangements to accommodate the high demand to meet the former vice president.
“Trimmer said the configuration on the hotel’s main floor ballroom has already been planned for 2,500 people, and tickets for that room sold out in a week after it was announced in June,” according to the news site. “But because of demand, there is room for another 700 people on the hotel’s second floor. There will be ‘less-formal programming’ there, Trimmer said, but speakers including Biden are expected to be there. There will also be a video link to bring some speeches from the first floor to the second floor, he said.”
A Biden spokesman would not discuss what’s ailing the longtime senator from Delaware, revealing only that he is sick and will “be fine in a few days,” according to CNN.
Regardless, House said Illinois Democrats will carry on without him to promote the party’s “incredible” candidates.
“While Biden’s trip to Springfield is canceled, our event will continue,” he said, according to ABC News. “We remain excited for what will be the largest brunch in our history and look forward to hearing from our incredible slate of Democratic leaders who are ready to energize our party and lead us to victory up and down the ticket this November.”