DNC Removes Phoenix Debate Audience Over Coronavirus Concerns
The Democratic National Convention announced that Sunday’s debate in Arizona between Democratic hopefuls Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will be held without an audience to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Xochitl Hinojosa, the DNC’s communications director, said the decision was made “at the request of both campaigns and out of an abundance of caution.”
“The DNC has been in regular communication with local health officials and the mayor’s office, which advised that we could proceed as planned,” Hinojosa added. “Nevertheless, our number one priority has and will continue to be the safety of our staff, campaigns, Arizonans and all those involved in the debate.”
The debate, scheduled for this Sunday at 8 p.m., will be hosted by CNN and Univision. It was also announced that CNN would not provide a “spin room,” or media center where the media and campaign representatives gather after the debates.
Concerns over the coronavirus have stunted many political events. Both Sanders and Biden cancelled campaign rallies set to happen in Ohio on Tuesday night. The status of future events are uncertain.