Biden campaign to hold virtual events instead of rallies amid coronavirus crisis

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Joe Biden's campaign on Wednesday canceled planned rallies in Chicago and in Miami, instead opting for virtual events in the coming days amid coronavirus fears.

Additional details about the events, which are scheduled for Friday and Monday, will be released later.

Biden previously canceled a public event scheduled for Thursday in Tampa. Instead, he is set to deliver remarks on the public health crisis from his home state of Delaware.

The move to forgo the events comes as the campaign launched an advisory committee made of doctors, a former homeland security adviser and a former US Food and Drug Administration commissioner that the campaign said will provide advice on "steps the campaign should take to minimize health risks for the candidate, staff, and supporters."

The former vice president also canceled his election night rally on Tuesday, after state officials in Ohio expressed concerns over holding large indoor gatherings. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders also canceled his own rally that night.

Biden instead chose to celebrate his primary night wins with his staff at his campaign headquarters in Philadelphia.

"As I said all along, we would follow the guidance of the CDC, state and local officials and public health officials with respect to our campaign events," Biden said Tuesday. "We'll continue to do that." He called the coronavirus issue a "matter of presidential leadership."

Biden has hit the Trump administration for its handling of the pandemic, telling Lawrence O'Donnell in an interview on MSNBC that he believes it would be better if the President were to "just get out of the way, let the experts at the CDC and others handle this."

The Biden campaign said earlier this week that it would continue to follow guidance from experts, contrasting it with the behavior of Trump, who they claimed "directly contradicts" experts' advice.

"At the same time, we will continue to run an aggressive, national campaign to win the Democratic nomination and defeat Donald Trump," the statement released on Sunday said.

The Democratic National Committee also announced Tuesday that there will be no live audience at the CNN-Univision debate in Phoenix on Sunday. CNN officials said there will also be no press filing center or spin room at the debate.

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