Sanders, Biden bump elbows ahead of debate

Sanders, Biden bump elbows ahead of debate

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSuspect in FedEx shooting used two assault rifles he bought legally: police US, China say they are 'committed' to cooperating on climate change DC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWorld passes 3 million coronavirus deaths Sirota: Biden has not fulfilled campaign promise of combating union-busting tactics Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents MORE (I-Vt.) bumped elbows in lieu of shaking hands ahead of the Democratic debate on Sunday. 

The moment, which was a first in presidential debate history, comes as the U.S. begins imposing new restrictions in an effort to limit social interactions among individuals as the coronavirus spreads across the country.  

The debate was moved from Arizona to studios in CNN's Washington, D.C., bureau last week amid concerns over the virus. Sanders's and Biden's debate podiums were several feet away from each other, and only three hosts were present in the studio. 


Sunday's debate did not feature a spin room, press filing center or live audience. 

Journalist Jorge Ramos even backed out of his role as a moderator last week due to possible exposure to the coronavirus; however, he is symptom-free. 

Biden and Sanders have addressed the virus, releasing plans to combat the outbreak and hosting virtual events to inform voters on the issue. 

More than 3,244 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the U.S. so far, with a total of 62 deaths nationwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University data. 

State and city officials across the U.S. have announced sweeping restrictions in an effort to prevent the number of cases from rising. 

The governors of Illinois and Ohio announced Sunday they would close all restaurants and bars in response to the pandemic.