coronavirus

Coronavirus Prompts Politicians to Make Their Campaign Events Virtual

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The work continues inside Joe Kennedy's campaign headquarters in Watertown, Massachusetts. But with coronavirus on the rise, it's not exactly work as usual.

"We just put in place a protocol that we are going to either cancel or postpone any gatherings where we anticipate over 50 attendees," said Amanda Bernardo, director of operations for Kennedy's Senate campaign.

Bernardo has just released a set of new protocols for campaign staffers, who have been told to prepare for working remotely.

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"We're going to be opening up virtual offices so that all of our offices can still be active, but in a virtual way," she said.

It's the new normal for campaigns across the state -- trying to win an election, but most importantly, keep citizens safe.

"One of the actions that we've taken is to announce a series of virtual town halls," said Becky Walker Grossman, a candidate for Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District.

Grossman has canceled several events planned for this week.

"That's what leadership is all about, is reacting thoughtfully to challenging situations and finding new ways to go about things as responsibly as possible," she said.

Virtual town halls are catching on around the country, from congressional races to the presidential. Joe Biden has his first virtual town hall Friday in Illinois.

Both Biden and Bernie Sanders have canceled rallies.

"We're also reimagining the format for large-crowd events we had planned in Chicago and Miami in the next couple of days," Biden said.

The coronavirus is also having an effect on that first one-on-one debate between Biden and Sanders scheduled for Sunday in Phoenix. It been moved to the CNN's studio in Washington, D.C., with no live audience.

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