Democratic presidential hopefuls, Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, are still slated to participate in a debate Sunday night, though the location and parameters have changed drastically in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The debate was originally planned, as most presidential debates have been, to take place in front of a live audience. The debate was going to be held in Phoenix, Arizona ahead of Arizona’s presidential primary on Tuesday.
Due to concerns of spreading the COVID-19 virus, organizers first cancelled the studio audience for the debate, and then decided to hold it in a TV studio in Washington, D.C. to limit travel for all those involved.
Following months of debates with full stages, when the democratic field saw as many as twenty presidential hopefuls, Sunday’s debate will feature the only two remaining candidates – Biden and Sanders.
The debate will be aired by CNN and moderated by two of its commentators. Univision’s Jorge Ramos was also scheduled to moderate, but has cancelled after revealing a potential secondary exposure to the coronavirus.
Just ahead of Super Tuesday, a number of Democratic candidates dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden.
Senator Sanders, who has fared poorer than expected in recent primaries, announced last week that he would continue his campaign.
Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, said he looks forward to debating Biden, now in his third run for the presidency over three decades, one-on-one on Sunday night.
Sanders laid out a string of questions he plans to ask Biden about income inequality among Americans, climate change, free college tuition and why he opposes Sanders's plan for a government-controlled health care system in the U.S., among other issues.