Upcoming Democratic debate moved from Phoenix to DC; Trump reelection touts 500 events across the country

(WASHINGTON) — The Sunday night Democratic debate – the first to feature former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders head-to-head – will now move from Arizona to CNN’s studios in Washington, D.C.

The debate will be held at CNN’s studio and will not have a live audience.

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has decided to no longer moderate the debate because he said he was “in proximity with someone who was in direct contact with a person that tested positive for coronavirus,” the DNC added.

“Ramos and the person he was in contact with are in good health and symptom free,” the DNC said.

Ramos was cleared by medical professionals but made the decision “out of an abundance of caution,” the DNC said.

With at least 1,323 cases in the United States as of Thursday, the U.S. now has the eighth-highest number of cases worldwide.

Meanwhile, amid the ongoing novel coronavirus threat and fears of the virus spreading in the U.S., and as President Trump has temporarily canceled campaign events, his robust reelection ground operation is currently charging forward and still planning to hold nearly 500 events across the country starting Friday.

Trump’s behemoth ground operation, which is a joint effort between the Republican National Committee and the campaign (Trump Victory), has a planned “national week of training” set to begin Friday with events taking place across the country (including states heavily impacted by the virus) — and as of now, the campaign events are moving forward as normal, two Republican sources tell ABC News.

The campaign and RNC did not return ABC News’ request for comment.

Trump Victory’s national week of training, set for March 13th-19th, is scheduled to feature about 470 events across dozens of states including ones seeing multiple cases of the virus like Florida and Colorado.

Many of the events on schedule are Trump Victory Leadership Trainings, which usually feature between 100-200 people looking to become campaign volunteers on the ground in their state. Sometimes the trainings are much larger however.

Other events still scheduled are door knockings, phone banks, and “MAGA meetups,” which are small gatherings of supporters usually to watch a debate or event.

The official campaign account was promoting the nation-wide events on Twitter less than 24 hours ago

The Trump Victory team has a heat map up online showing all of the events across the country.

In other ways, the candidates do appear to be altering the way they campaign.

Biden’s campaign announced Wednesday it will be hosting “virtual events” in place of events on the ground in Illinois and Florida.

The campaign is also set to announce a committee aimed at advising the campaign on the health risks during this election cycle to the candidate, staff and supporters.

“The campaign’s top priority is and will continue to be the health and safety of the public,” the campaign said in a statement. “Members of the committee will provide ongoing counsel to the campaign, which will in turn continue to update the public regarding operational decisions.”

Sanders will deliver remarks from Burlington, Vermont Thursday afternoon, his campaign announced on “the health and economic crisis facing this country.”

Sanders has previously indicated that coronavirus is being considered as the campaign plans large rallies and noted that the campaign has checked in with public health officials in Los Angeles and San Jose, Calif., prior to rallies. His campaign has upcoming planned office openings in Pennsylvania and a campaign-sponsored event in the Tampa, Florida area.

Both Biden and Sanders canceled rallies in Cleveland, Ohio Tuesday night.

Wednesday evening, during an Oval Office address, Trump emphasized making the effort to specifically protect older Americans by avoiding non-essential travel in crowded areas and avoiding all medically unnecessary trips to nursing homes.

Following the White House’s lead, the Trump campaign announced on Twitter it is “postponing” next week’s Catholics for Trump event in Milwaukee that was set to feature President Trump.

The Trump campaign has postponed its “Women for Trump” bus tour that was set to kick off Monday in Michigan featuring top surrogates including Mercedes Schlapp, whose husband is the CPAC chairman — a conservative conference where at least one attendee has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Trump campaign confirmed to ABC News.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Submit a Comment