Social Distancing at Sanders/Biden Debate in Coronavirus Era: No Handshake, Podiums Six Feet Apart

Democratic presidential hopefuls former US vice president Joe Biden (L) and Senator Bernie Sanders (R) greet each other with an elbow bump as they arrive for the 11th Democratic Party 2020 presidential debate in a CNN Washington Bureau studio in Washington, DC on March 15, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN …
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

The first one-on-one debate between 2020 Democrat presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday reflected the “social distancing” taking place in American society in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The candidates did not shake hands but did an “elbow bump” when taking the stage, and the podiums were placed at the recommended distance of six feet apart to lessen the chance of coronavirus infection.

“We’ve never seen anything like it,” a CNN anchor said ahead of the debate, noting not only that the stage setup was a first because of the virus and the first debate to have no live audience.

Shortly before the debate began, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it recommends no gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.

The first part of the debate was dominated by how these men would address the crisis if they were in the White House. 

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