Democratic Debate Moved to DC Due to Coronavirus Concerns

March 12, 2020 by Dan McCue
Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, is the top preference of Texas Democrats for president, according to a Texas Lyceum poll released Wednesday. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders came in a close second, but fared better in a head-to-head match-up with President Donald Trump. [Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS]

WASHINGTON – The Democratic National Committee is moving Sunday’s presidential primary debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders from Phoenix to Washington, D.C., due to concerns over the coronavirus.

In a brief written statement, DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa said the move was being made “out of an abundance of caution and in order to reduce cross-country travel.”

As a result, “all parties have decided that the best path forward is to hold Sunday’s debate at CNN’s studio in Washington … with no live audience,” Hinojosa said.

The party also announced that coronavirus has forced a change in moderator from the Spanish-language Univision.

“The DNC, CNN and Univision recently learned that Univision anchor and moderator Jorge Ramos was in proximity with someone who was in direct contact with a person that tested positive for coronavirus,” Hinojosa said.

Though both Ramos and the individual he was in contact with are symptom free and have been cleared by medical professionals, the Univision anchor and moderator has decided to step aside from participating in the debate.

Univision News Anchor Ilia Calderón will moderate the March 15 debate in his place.

“Our number one priority has been, and will continue to be, the safety of our staff, campaigns, and all those involved in the debate,” Hinojosa said.

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