Democratic debate moving to DC from Phoenix amid coronavirus concerns

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The Democratic presidential debate between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will be held in a Washington, D.C., studio instead Phoenix to cut down on travel for the campaigns over fears about the spread of the coronavirus.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has said that there would be no live studio audience, as party leaders seek to avoid large gatherings where people could pass the virus to one another.

“Out of an abundance of caution and in order to reduce cross-country travel, all parties have decided that the best path forward is to hold Sunday’s debate at CNN’s studio in Washington, D.C., with no live audience,” said DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa.

In addition, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos will no longer be one of the moderators. The DNC said that he had recently been “in proximity with someone who was in direct contact with a person that tested positive for coronavirus.”

Ramos and the person he was in contact with are both symptom free at the moment, but he will step aside out of an abundance of caution.

“Despite being cleared by medical professionals and out of an abundance of caution, Jorge has decided to step aside from participating in the upcoming March 15 democratic debate. Univision’s News Anchor Ilia Calderón will moderate the debate in his place,” Hinojosa said. “Our number one priority has and will continue to be the safety of our staff, campaigns, and all those involved in the debate.”

The coronavirus has dramatically altered how the candidates are campaigning.

Biden and Sanders have canceled large rallies and are giving speeches remotely, to avoid social contact.

Tags Bernie Sanders Coronavirus coronavirus outbreak Coronavirus testing COVID-19 Democratic National Committee Joe Biden

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