No Live Audience At Democratic Presidential Debate In Phoenix
Due to concerns over the coronavirus, the Democratic presidential debate in Phoenix won’t have a live audience.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are scheduled to debate at the Arizona Federal Theater on Sunday.
Both campaigns requested that the debate be closed to the public, according to a statement by Xochitl Hinojosa, communications director for the Democratic National Committee.
Hinojosa added that local health officials, as well as Mayor Kate Gallego, had advised the debate could proceed as planned.
“Nevertheless, our number one priority has and will continue to be the safety of our staff, campaigns, Arizonans and all those involved in the debate,” she stated.
Gallego tweeted that it’s the city’s understanding that the debate will still take place.
At the request of the Biden and Sanders campaigns @TheDemocrats have canceled the audience portion of Sunday’s Presidential primary debate in PHX. It is our understanding that the debate itself will still be taking place. pic.twitter.com/StjDNgmxwQ— Mayor Kate Gallego (@MayorGallego) March 10, 2020
CNN, which is scheduled to air the debate at 8 p.m. ET Sunday, announced that in addition to eliminating a live audience, the press filing area and traditional spin room will also be shuttered.