Coronavirus Fears Spark Cancellations of U.S. Election Rallies

Democratic presidential contenders Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were left to reassess how to campaign on Wednesday as a spreading U.S. coronavirus outbreak prompted cancellations of election events, including one weeks away.

Biden’s campaign, which scored decisive primary victories in Michigan and three other states on Tuesday, canceled a Thursday get-out-the-vote event in Florida. The state, along with Arizona, Illinois and Ohio, will hold primary contests next week.

The winner of the national nominating battle that began in February and ends at July’s Democratic National Convention will challenge Republican President Donald Trump in November.

Both the former vice president and Sanders, a U.S. senator, canceled election night rallies on Tuesday, citing recommendations from public health officials to avoid assembling large indoor crowds.

Separately, organizers on Wednesday called off a March 27 rally in Detroit that was to be hosted by former first lady Michelle Obama. The rally, aimed at boosting turnout in November’s general election, was canceled “out of an abundance of caution” given the spread of the coronavirus, organizers said.

Biden, the Democratic front-runner, said he would deliver an address on the U.S. response to the virus in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday.

“This is a matter, this whole coronavirus – is a matter of presidential leadership,” Biden told reporters on Tuesday night in Philadelphia. “Later this week, I’ll be speaking to you on what I believe the nation should be doing to address this virus.”

COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, is a highly contagious respiratory illness. The number of U.S. coronavirus cases has risen steadily and currently exceeds 1,000, and 28 deaths have been reported, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University.

The outbreak has infected more than 119,000 people and killed more than 4,290 worldwide, according to a Reuters tally. It has pounded financial markets, forced school closures and prompted organizers to cancel concerts, conferences and sporting events.

Exit polls showed that primary voters on Tuesday regarded Biden as a better choice than Sanders to respond to the virus outbreak. In Washington, the state hit the hardest thus far, voters who said they were most concerned about it backed Biden over Sanders by 2-to-1.

Biden, a moderate, and Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, have both criticized the Trump administration over its response to the outbreak.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law urged state election officials to ensure that concerns about the virus did not interfere with upcoming votes.

“States must not wait a moment longer to take real steps to address the impact of the coronavirus on the 2020 election season,” the committee said in a statement.

The Democratic National Committee said the next presidential debate, scheduled for Sunday in Arizona, would not have an in-person audience because of health concerns.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in Philadelphia and Amanda Becker, Doina Chiacu, Chris Kahn and Jason Lange in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone, Peter Cooney and Jonathan Oatis)

Published in News


  1. Fears of Biden’s senility showing up big time in Phoenix on Sunday is also having the DNC asking/demanding there be an end to the Primaries and that quid pro quo Joe be determined to be the nominee even though he has less than half of the needed delegates. Bolshevik Bernie is screwed again by the DNC. Trump wins again!

  2. Sanders and Biden cancelled their rallies. Three guesses (and two don’t count) which candidate, who doesn’t believe in science, went ahead and went with an enthusiastic hand-shaking rally. And this (un-named) candidate is above having a test done.

    1. WOW, more lies and fake news from a lying communist drone. baal paul wouldn’t know the truth if it hit him in the ass and he is ALL ass………….JACKASS!!!!!!! The JACKASS party strikes again and misses the mark.

      1. Bob, look at real news. The videos are all over of the (un-named) candidate shaking hands at the rally he decided not to cancel. And, by the way, he is proud to say that he doesn’t need a test. Also, by the way, (I hate to even bring it up) but I would hate to think of what you would welcome coming into contact with your ass. Have a nice afternoon.

    2. Paul; Trump’s White House doctor advised him to NOT be tested; saying there was NO need. Didn’t you see that on the television news?

      1. Don’t you realize the many lies Trump has proudly given? And you believe his paid-for doctor? This is beyond just holier-than-anyone-but me, crap. This depends on the lives of everybody in our country, whether, or not, Donnie looks beyond himself or not. Our country needs our prayers from this scourge of a person in the Oval Office.

      2. There is a new disease going around that disproportionately kills older men. Our president is right in the crosshairs. It would make more sense to me if he were being tested DAILY. Why would it not be a good idea to catch a potential risk to our commander in chief at the very earliest stage? Is it better to wait until he starts showing symptoms? I’d rather see 60 of the “millions” of tests we supposedly have reserved for Trump.

        Saying that there is no need for him to be tested is like saying that secret service protection is unnecessary because there hasn’t been an assassination attempt lately. If anyone should be started on aggressive treatment at the earliest sign of infection, it is the President.

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