Mayor Tom Barrett told Dem activists Tuesday he wished he were welcoming them to Milwaukee in person this week, but he was proud the party and the city were putting the health of his constituents first.

“But these are not conventional times, and as a result, as we all know, this is not a conventional convention,” Barrett said.

Barrett opened the second night of the virtual national convention, which was supposed to be an opportunity for Milwaukee to prove it belonged among the nation’s first-class cities for hosting such a large event. It also was supposed to be an economic boom with 50,000 visitors and a $200 million impact. Instead, the COVID-19 pandemic turned it into a virtual event with a light presence in Wisconsin’s largest city.

Barrett still extended an invitation to viewers to visit the city on the “fresh coast” while saying he and his constituents understand “why we can’t be together” this week.

“As our party comes together virtually to nominate Joe Biden to be our next president, we’re showing the county we’re nominating a leader who isn’t afraid to make tough choices or to work with health experts, not against them to address this pandemic,” Barrett said.

Watch Barrett’s address here.

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