As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow larger by the day, CNN has announced that the upcoming debate between Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former vice president Joe Biden will take place without a live audience.
As MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow noted, “They have just announced that there will be no audience for that debate.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) March 10, 2020
This is a debate that’s going to be hosted by CNN on Sunday in Arizona, and they have just announced that there will be no audience for that debate. We have seen this happen with international sporting events, the prospect has been raised that we may start to see this with domestic sports events as well, things happening in front of an empty stadium or an empty arena. This will happen for this debate as states across the country now try to take more measures trying to protect people from getting this virus.
The debate will also reportedly not have a spin room where journalists, pundits and campaign staffers convene following the debate to discuss which candidate was the “winner.”
The coronavirus is spilling its way into the campaign
The news that the next Democratic debate will take place without a live audience isn’t the only way the coronavirus is affecting the 2020 presidential campaign.
Just hours ago, both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden announced that they were cancelling their planned primary night rallies in Cleveland, Ohio.
It’s unclear whether the canceled Ohio rallies are a one-off decision by the Sanders and Biden campaigns, or if it’s the beginning of a pause on holding such events as the Trump administration struggles to contain the virus.
With the outbreak showing no signs of slowing down, at least in the United States, this is likely just the beginning of the coronavirus impacting the campaign.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.