The next Democratic Debate will be a one-on-one showdown between former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The debate is set to take place in Phoenix, Arizona but will be held without a live audience due to the fear of spreading the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
The Democratic National Committee and CNN announced the news saying the main priority “has and will continue to be the safety of our staff, campaigns, Arizonans and all those involved in the debate.”
“At the request of both campaigns and out of an abundance of caution, there will be no live audience at the Arizona debate taking place on Sunday, March 15th,” DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement. “The DNC has been in regular communication with local health officials and the mayor’s office, which advised that we could proceed as planned.”
CNN added: “CNN’s top priority is the safety of our employees and community members. This extends to guests planning to attend or cover our debate on March 15.”
In the United States, coronavirus cases have topped 1,000 across 34 states with at least 32 deaths — most of the deaths in the state of Washington.
Statement on attendance/coverage of CNN’s March 15th Democratic Presidential debate in Phoenix, AZ: pic.twitter.com/nRYzyfurOQ
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) March 10, 2020
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in China, it has now reached many countries around the world including the United States. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.