Bernie Sanders has announced that he is canceling his Cleveland, Ohio rally out of concern for coronavirus. Joe Biden’s campaign also announced they were canceling the rally shortly after. Future events are going to be evaluated case-by-case.
Bernie Sanders & Joe Biden Canceled Their Rallies After the Governor Recommended Against Going to Events with Large Crowds
Sanders’ communications director announced the cancelation a few hours before the event was going to begin, shared Elizabeth Landers of Vice News.
Cleveland Scene confirmed Sanders’ cancelation.
Sanders’ communications director said: “Out of concern for public health and safety, we are canceling tonight’s rally in Cleveland… “We are heeding the public warnings from Ohio state officials, who have communicated concern about holding large, indoor events during the coronavirus outbreak.”
Joe Biden’s campaign also announced a few minutes later that they are canceling their Cleveland rally today too. Scott Bixby of the Daily Beast said the announcement came from a campaign source.
Gov. Mike DeWine had asked people in the state to avoid large gatherings including Sanders’ and Biden’s rallies, Cleveland.com reported. Three cases had been confirmed in Cuyahoga County. DeWine said he wouldn’t interfere with the rallies, but he recommended against attending any large events and recommended canceling other large gatherings and not allowing spectators to attend large sporting events.
The three positive cases in Cuyahoga County are in their mid-50s and had contact with doctors. They include a married couple who had been on a cruise in Africa and a man who returned from the AIPAC conference.
Sanders’ and Biden’s rallies were scheduled to take place on what has been referred to as “Super Tuesday II” with multiple states’ primaries happening today. Elections are taking place in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota (Democrat only), and Washington.
Sanders’ rally was going to take place in Cleveland, Ohio’s Huntington Convention Center at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. The announcement was made several hours before the rally was supposed to begin. An earlier post on the event’s Facebook page, made a few hours before it was canceled, read: “In light of concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19), please do not come to the event if you are sick or are at high risk (serious pre-existing illness or respiratory illness) or displaying symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) older adults and persons with underlying health conditions are considered to be at increased risk for severe illness and complications from COVID-19. If you have come in contact with infected people or those who may have exposed you to the virus, please also stay home.”
Since that post was made, the event has been canceled completely.
Mike Casca, Sanders’ communications director, told NBC News in a statement that Sanders “would like to express his regret to the thousands of Ohioans who had planned to attend the event tonight.”
Biden’s rally was going to take place at the Cuyahoga Community College recreation center.
Although President Donald Trump said in the past that he would continue hosting rallies, he does not have any on his schedule.