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Biden to hold 'virtual' campaign events amid coronavirus outbreak

Biden to hold 'virtual' campaign events amid coronavirus outbreak
© Greg Nash

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter Trump narrows Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: poll Florida breaks first-day early voting record with 350K ballots cast MORE is switching to so-called “virtual” campaign events in Florida and Illinois amid mounting concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. 

Biden previously had events scheduled in the two states, which hold their primaries on Tuesday. But his campaign said that after consulting with officials, the former vice president would not hold large-scale events in the states.

The announcement came a day after Biden and his chief rival Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE (I-Vt.) canceled planned rallies in Cleveland, Ohio, due to the outbreak. Biden is expected to deliver remarks on the virus that causes COVID-19 on Thursday. 

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Biden’s campaign also announced on Wednesday that it would form a “Public Health Advisory Committee” to provide guidance on how to reduce the threat of the disease. 

The planned virtual campaign events are the latest example of how candidates are coping with the spread of a virus that has put the U.S. and the rest of the world on high alert.

Financial markets have plunged amid concerns about the outbreak while policymakers are scrambling to mount a response. 

Illinois and Florida are among the biggest prizes of the Democratic presidential primary thus far, with a combined 374 pledged delegates up for grabs. Polling in Illinois has been scarce, but Biden holds a massive lead over Sanders in Florida.