Coronavirus Means This Dem Debate Looks A Lot Different
No audience, no handshakes.
Sunday’s Democratic debate was different, and the reason why is no surprise: the coronavirus pandemic. Former VP Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders debated inside of CNN’s Washington D.C., studio and were joined only by the moderators.
Biden and Sanders’ podiums were placed 6 feet apart, and they greeted one another with a non-traditional elbow touch in lieu of a handshake as “no handshake” policies are becoming the new normal.
Moderators announced immediately that the majority of the night would be focused on coronavirus, and it was also the opening topic, with each candidate asked to explain the steps they would take to handle the virus.
Biden said that people need to get tested, and if he were in charge he would arrange drive-through testing around the country. He would also implement additional hospital beds and medical equipment, as well as make arrangements to deal with economic fallout from the virus.
Biden on confronting coronavirus crisis: "We have to deal with the economic fallout quickly. And that means making sure the people who in fact lose their job, don't get a paycheck, can't pay their mortgage are able to pay it and pay them now" #DemDebate https://t.co/166aRFdJui pic.twitter.com/ozawtPxWl2— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 16, 2020
Sanders echoed Biden’s sentiments for more testing and equipment, adding that we need to “shut this president [Trump] up right now,” when it comes to virus preparedness.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, the U.S. has taken increasingly strict measures over the past week to try to prevent further contamination, including travel bans, lockdowns on entire states, and declaring a national state of emergency.