The Democratic National Committee is moving Sunday’s presidential debate to Washington, D.C., from Phoenix over concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.
The debate, the first one-on-one match between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, will be held at CNN’s studio in order to minimize cross-country travel amid the rising number of coronavirus cases in the U.S., DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa said. She noted in a statement that all parties involved agreed it was “the best path forward.”
The DNC had previously announced that the debate would have no live audience, and that will remain the case.
The DNC also announced a change in moderator after Univision anchor Jorge Ramos was near someone who had been in contact with another person who had tested positive for the coronavirus. Ramos and the other individual are symptom-free and in good health, the DNC said, but Ramos is stepping aside, and Univision anchor Ilia Calderón will take his place.
The decision comes as Democratic presidential campaigns have taken steps to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. Former Vice President Biden and Vermont Sen. Sanders have canceled rallies, and both campaigns have asked their staff to work remotely.
President Trump postponed a “Catholics for Trump” event in Milwaukee that had been scheduled for March 19, according to his campaign communications director.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has been declared a pandemic.