No Audience at Biden-Sanders Debate Due to Coronavirus

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Vice President Joe Biden at the Democratic presidential primary debate in Charleston, South Carolina on February 25, 2020.Win McNamee/Getty Images

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The Democratic debate on Sunday won’t just feature fewer candidates than before, it will also be without an audience. To limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Democratic National Committee and CNN announced Tuesday that the upcoming debate on Sunday between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden will no longer have a live audience, nor will reporters meet with campaign representatives after the debate in what is referred to as the spin room, nor a designated area for reporters to file stories.

Both Sanders and Biden canceled rallies in Cleveland on Tuesday over growing fears about the coronavirus.

But President Donald Trump seems to be throwing caution to the wind. On Tuesday, his campaign announced it would hold a rally in Milwaukee on March 19.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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