Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Cancelled rallies, debates with no audiences, contingency plans for conventions and ballot-casting: this is campaigning in the age of coronavirus.

The state of play: President Trump declared coronavirus a national emergency. Trump, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders all cancelled large-scale events this week and rolled out coronavirus policy platforms.

  • Louisiana is postponing the state's Democratic primary until the summer.
  • Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez told Axios' Jonathan Swan in an HBO interview taped March 9 that he has no plans to cancel this summer's convention in Milwaukee. But the DNC is monitoring the situation "every single day."
  • Tomorrow's Democratic debate moved from Arizona to CNN's Washington studio with no live audience, and Univision's Jorge Ramos withdrew as a moderator because he may have been exposed to the virus.

The bottom line: Politics is fundamentally about engaging people. This is America's biggest test of what it means to campaign without crowds in the modern age — whether disenfranchisement and lower turnout are inevitable, or virtual interactions can fill the void.

Go deeper: Margaret and Dan Primack discuss the impact on campaigning on Pro Rata.

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases fell by 15% this week

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

New coronavirus infections fell by almost 15% over the past week, continuing a steady downward trend.

Why it matters: The standard caveats still apply — progress can always fall apart, the U.S. is climbing down from a very high number of cases, and this is far from over. But this is undeniably good news. Things are getting better.

Updated 11 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced all domestic pandemic restrictions will be lifted in New Zealand from midnight Monday except in Auckland, where they'll be eased late Wednesday.

The big picture: Ardern delayed the country's election until Oct. 17 as authorities work to stamp out a coronavirus cluster in Auckland, after the re-emergence of COVID-19. There have been single-digit or zero domestic cases in NZ's most populous city since the government reintroduced restrictions.

Aug 26, 2020 - Health

Fauci says he was having surgery when CDC testing changes were approved

Anthony Fauci was in the operating room under general anesthesia last Thursday when the White House coronavirus task force approved the narrowing of CDC testing recommendations to exclude asymptomatic individuals, according to CNN's Sanjay Gupta.

Why it matters: Fauci, who had vocal cord surgery last week, told Gupta that he is "concerned about the interpretation of these recommendations and worried it will give people the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern. In fact, it is."