After several logistical changes owing to the growing coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the world and now the U.S., the first one-on-one debate pitting remaining Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders is Sunday night.
The debate between the former Vice President and the Vermont sentator is tonight at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT live on CNN, CNN en Español, CNN International, and Univision. CNN will stream the debate without authentication on CNN.com and apps, and it will also stream live on Univision’s digital properties and Democrats.org.
Originally set for Phoenix in front of a live audience, the debate has been moved to CNN’s studios in Washington, DC, with no crowd and the traditional spin room and press filing center scrapped. Univision’s Jorge Ramos, who had been set as a moderator, backed out of his planned role because of possible exposure to the coronavirus. Univision’s Illa Calderon will take Ramos’ place alongside CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.
CNN’s WarnerMedia and CNN already had placed restrictions on non-essential employee travel and asked that those involved in the production of major events be limited to those who needed to be there. The COVID-19 pandemic should certainly be a main topic of conversation tonight, which comes two days after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency.
The event will be the first sole matchup of Biden and Sanders on a debate stage since Super Tuesday, after which the Dem field was whittled to two. Biden has become the frontrunner after overwhelming showings on that day and this past Tuesday’s mini-Super Tuesday, and has swept to the delegate lead.