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Biden and Sanders debate on Feb. 25 in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders will not debate in front of a live audience in Phoenix, Arizona, this weekend, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego confirmed on Tuesday.

What's happening: There are two confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Arizona, and four presumptive positive cases, per the state health department. One confirmed case is travel-related, while the other confirmed case and all presumptive cases are believed to have been transmitted person-to-person.

What they're saying: The lack of a live audience at Sunday's debate comes at the request of Biden and Sanders' campaigns, Gallego said.

"At the request of both campaigns and out of an abundance of caution, there will be no live audience at the Arizona debate taking place on Sunday, March 15th. The DNC has been in regular communication with local health officials and the Mayor's office, which advised that we could proceed as planned. Nevertheless, our number one priority has and will continue to be the safety of our staff, campaigns, Arizonans and all those involved in the debate. We will continue to remain in daily contact with all stakeholders through Sunday."
— Democratic National Committee communications director Xochitl Hinojosa in a statement.
"At the request of the campaigns and out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to eliminate the live debate audience, the press filing center and spin room in Phoenix."
— CNN, a cohost of the debate, in a statement.

Go deeper: Democrats lay out demands for coronavirus funding

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

5 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.