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Biden, Sanders Cancel Cleveland Campaign Events Amid Coronavirus Concerns

The rally at Cuyahoga Community College for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was cancelled just a few hours before it was set to begin Tuesday night. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
empty stage and bleachers with a Biden 2020 sign on a podium at center stage

Updated: 7:15 p.m., Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Both Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden canceled Tuesday campaign events in Cleveland out of an abundance of coronavirus caution.

The abrupt cancellations from the Democratic presidential hopefuls came after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine advised avoiding large public events as a health precaution.

“In accordance with guidance from public officials and out of an abundance of caution, our rally in Cleveland, Ohio tonight is cancelled,” said a statement from Kate Bedingfield, the Biden campaign’s deputy campaign manager and communications director. “We will continue to consult with public health officials and public health guidance and make announcements about future events in the coming days. Vice President Biden thanks all of his supporters who wanted to be with us in Cleveland this evening.

The Biden and Sanders campaigns had planned rallies in Cleveland as results from today’s primaries come in, Biden at Cuyahoga Community College and Sanders at the Huntington Convention Center.

“Sen. Sanders would like to express his regret to the thousands of Ohioans who had planned to attend the event tonight,” said a brief written statement from communications director Mike Casca. “All future Bernie events will be evaluated on a case by case basis.”

Ohio's Primary Day is March 17, with early and absentee voting already underway.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.