Former vice president Joe Biden said Thursday that the coronavirus outbreak has revealed the Trump administration’s “severe shortcomings” as he delivered remarks on a subject that has rapidly come to dominate and reshape the Democratic campaign for the White House.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also delivered remarks on the health and economic effects of the outbreak, comparing it in scale to a major war. Later Thursday afternoon, Sanders’s campaign was given a boost when he was declared the winner of last week’s Super Tuesday contest in California.

Also Thursday, the Democratic National Committee announced that it was moving a one-on-one debate Sunday between Biden and Sanders from Arizona to a television studio in the nation’s capital “out of an abundance of caution” amid the outbreak.

Biden and Sanders will go before the voters again Tuesday in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio — contests in which Biden hopes to add to his delegate lead and put the race out of reach for Sanders. As he turns his attention toward President Trump, Biden is also replacing his campaign manager.

Sanders joins Biden in telling staff to work from home due to coronavirus

11:16 p.m.
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The Sanders presidential campaign announced Thursday that it has asked all staff to work from home and will no longer hold big events or campaign at people’s homes.

“In light of concerns about coronavirus and out of an abundance of caution for our staff, volunteers and supporters, the Sanders campaign has asked all staff to work from home and will no longer hold large events or door-to-door canvasses, instead moving to digital formats and outreach wherever possible,” Sanders campaign spokesman Mike Casca said in a statement.

The move follows the cancellation of an Ohio rally on Tuesday. Sanders has held two news conferences from a hotel ballroom in Vermont since then, but no rallies or town halls.

Earlier Thursday, the Biden campaign announced its headquarters and satellite staffs would work from home beginning Saturday.

Ocasio-Cortez on Fox: It’s time for Democrats to ‘come together’

10:47 p.m.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) appeared on Fox News to discuss Congress’s response to the coronavirus, but was also asked about Biden looking like he would win the Democratic nomination.

Ocasio-Cortez, a surrogate for Sanders, did not dispute this. Instead, she called Sanders a “transformative” leader for everyday Americans and that she looked forward to the debate between him and Biden on Sunday.

But she also said the primary process is at a point where Democrats need “to make sure we come together.”

Asked if she was disappointed that young voters didn’t turn out in larger numbers for Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez blamed, in part, voter suppression. She acknowledged that it’s a challenge to inspire young people to go vote, but pointed to long lines at polling stations that could have discouraged young voters.

Sanders wins California primary

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Sanders has won California’s Democratic presidential primary, according to Edison Media Research.

Many Californians vote by mail for its contest, which was held March 3, Super Tuesday. California has 415 delegates, the greatest number of all Super Tuesday states. The final delegate allotment is still being determined. In California’s primary, as in all Democratic contests, delegates are awarded proportionally rather than by a winner-take-all approach, meaning that both Biden and Sanders are on track to win delegates.

The state’s Democratic primary was hotly contested; polls ahead of Super Tuesday showed Sanders leading, but with Biden gaining ground.

No candidate worked harder to win California than Sanders, who bet his 2016 campaign on a last-minute win there and never stopped campaigning after he lost. Exit polling suggested a strong finish for the U.S. senator from Vermont, who was trailing in polls there as recently as October.

Sanders’s strengths resemble his advantages in Nevada’s caucuses, which until Super Tuesday had been the high point of his campaign.

According to exit polling in California, Sanders led Biden among white voters by six points; among Asian voters by 12 points; and among Latino voters by 27 points.

He trailed among only black voters, but not by the landslide margins he lost them by in Super Tuesday’s Southern primaries. According to the exit poll, Biden won just 37 percent of black voters in California, compared with 23 percent for former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, 15 percent for Sanders, and 10 percent for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass).

As in many other states, Sanders also won overwhelmingly among California’s younger voters, while Biden won those ages 65 and older. The two were neck-and-neck among voters ages 45 to 64.

Biden campaign staffers across country to work from home starting Saturday

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Staffers for Biden’s presidential campaign, at its headquarters in Philadelphia and in field offices across the country, will work remotely as of Saturday, according to an all-staff memo obtained Thursday by The Washington Post.

“Starting Saturday, March 14, all Biden for President employees both in our Philadelphia headquarters and in field offices across the country will work from home,” senior campaign officials Anita Dunn and Jen O’Malley Dillon wrote in the memo. “Department heads will be in touch with teams about tele-work processes and operations.”

They added: “Staff in states will be given the option of returning to their permanent residence, and the campaign will facilitate their travel home. Any staff without a permanent residence will be provided housing in ‘Work from Home’ remote office pods across the country.”

The guidance will be in place for two weeks, at which point it will be reevaluated, according to the notice.

The move follows the decision by Biden to cancel campaign rallies and replace them with virtual town halls as cases of the coronavirus continue to spread in the United States. Sanders also has put off events for the time being.

Also on Thursday, the Democratic National Committee announced the relocation of Sunday’s primary debate from Phoenix to Washington, D.C., where it will take place without a live audience.

The steps follow guidance from public health experts, who are advising Americans to avoid large gatherings and stay six feet away from other people — part of a strategy known as social distancing — to help check the explosion of cases.

Biden delivered a speech Thursday in which he excoriated the Trump administration for its handling of the crisis and called on Americans to follow the guidelines set out by health officials. Sanders spoke a few hours later, laying out his plan to aid those affected by the pandemic.

Sanders calls Trump ‘incompetent’ over handling of coronavirus, offers policy ideas

7:56 p.m.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) escalated his criticism of President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus Thursday, as he offered a suite of new policy proposals for addressing it and circumventing the president’s approach, which he portrayed as severely lacking.

“Unfortunately in this time of international crisis, it is clear to me at least that we have an administration that is largely incompetent and whose incompetence and recklessness have threatened the lives of many, many people in our country,” Sanders said at a news conference in Burlington, Vt., where he took no questions.

Sanders said Trump must declare the pandemic a national emergency.

Because Trump is “unwilling and unable to lead selflessly,” Sanders said, Congress should convene an “emergency bipartisan authority of experts” to help spearhead the government’s response.

In addition, Sanders called for steps to protect Americans from suffering economically and otherwise — advocating that the government step in to pay for health care costs during the crisis and take further steps to safeguard the most vulnerable people from financial ruin.

He proposed moratoriums on evictions, foreclosure and utility shut-offs, “so that no one loses their homes in this crisis.” And he advocated for the creation of emergency homeless shelters and lending programs.

The U.S. senator, who is a longtime champion of a Medicare-for-all health-care system in which the government is the sole insurer, warned of the dangers of not covering all Americans. He reiterated his calls for vaccines to be available free. And he said the government should ensure people can receive cost-free medical treatment.

“While we work to pass a Medicare-for-all single-payer system, the United States government today must it make it clear that in the midst of this emergency, everyone in our country, regardless of income or where they live, must be able to get all of the health care they need without cost,” Sanders said.

Sanders also called for emergency funding for paid family and medical leave.

“Anyone who is sick should be able to stay home,” he said.

Sanders offers a grim forecast for U.S. deaths from coronavirus

7:36 p.m.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), speaking in Burlington, Vt., began his remarks about the coronavirus with a focus on the pain to come, comparing it in scale to a major war.

“Nobody knows what the number of fatalities will be,” Sanders said. “We have to face the truth that the number of casualties may actually be even higher than what the Armed Forces experienced in World War II.”

U.S. troops lost 400,000 people in that war.

Sanders urged Americans to view this crisis not through the lens of their personal experience, but as a communal event that will affect everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us.

“It’s a moral imperative that as a government, as a society, as a business community, as individual citizens we meet the enormity of this crisis,” Sanders said. “As people stay home and work from home, it will be easy to feel like we are in this alone or that we must only worry about ourselves and let everyone else fend for themselves. In my view, that would be a tragic and dangerous mistake.”

Biden says coronavirus has revealed ‘severe shortcomings’ of Trump administration

6:11 p.m.
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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden warned against panic and xenophobia as the coronavirus continued to spread during a speech on March 12, 2020. (Reuters)

Speaking in Wilmington, Del., Biden sought to draw a sharp contrast with Trump on handling the spread of the coronavirus, declaring that the crisis has laid bare the “severe shortcomings” of the administration.

“The administration’s failure on testing is colossal, and it’s a failure of planning, leadership and execution,” Biden said. “By next week, the number of tests should be in the millions, not the thousands.”

The former vice president unveiled a comprehensive plan for handling the crisis. It calls for a response that ensures free and widely available testing, the development of a vaccine, emergency paid leave for all Americans affected by the outbreak, and “an immediate set of ambitious and progressive economic measures, and further decisive action to address the larger macroeconomic shock from this outbreak.”

Biden also took aim at Trump’s description of the coronavirus as a “foreign virus,” arguing that the virus’s origin doesn’t absolve the president of his responsibility for handling the crisis or of what Biden described as his failures thus far.

“The coronavirus does not have a political affiliation,” Biden said, noting that the virus will affect people regardless of race, gender or Zip code.

Sanders to address coronavirus outbreak later Thursday afternoon

5:23 p.m.
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Sanders plans to deliver remarks later Thursday afternoon in Burlington, Vt., on “the health and economic crisis facing the country,” his campaign announced shortly before Biden was scheduled to address the novel coronavirus outbreak during a speech in Wilmington, Del.

Like Biden, Sanders will be speaking from his hometown. He plans to make his address from a hotel in downtown Burlington.

Both candidates are seeking to appear presidential on an issue that Democrats have accused President Trump of bungling.

Left-wing groups supporting Sanders intensify their efforts, even as Biden surges

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A scrappy coalition of activist groups supporting Bernie Sanders plans to intensify its fundraising and organizing efforts against the Democratic establishment, which is coalescing around Joe Biden after recent presidential primary wins.

The sprawling network of socialists, climate-change activists, millennial organizers and other progressive advocates, who raise money from millions of members and have knocked on many doors in support of Sanders (I-Vt.), say they plan to cite the coronavirus outbreak and the uncertain economy to advance him as the only candidate who can enact broad economic and environmental change.

Their efforts come even as major Democratic super PACs line up to spend millions for Biden as the candidate they consider best positioned to win the party’s nomination.

Read more here.

DNC will move Sunday’s Democratic debate from Phoenix to Washington

4:39 p.m.
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The Democratic National Committee is moving Sunday’s Democratic presidential debate from Phoenix to Washington to cut down on cross-country travel and limit the potential spread of the coronavirus.

In a statement, DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said that out of an abundance of caution, “all parties have decided that the best path forward is to hold Sunday’s debate at CNN’s studio in Washington, D.C., with no live audience.”

Hinojosa also said that Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, who had been expected to moderate the debate, will be stepping aside because he “was in proximity with someone who was in direct contact with a person that tested positive for coronavirus.”

“Both Mr. Ramos and the person he was in contact with are in good health and symptom free,” Hinojosa said. “Despite being cleared by medical professionals and out of an abundance of caution, Jorge has decided to step aside from participating in the upcoming March 15 [D]emocratic debate. Univision’s News Anchor Ilia Calderón will moderate the debate in his place.”

Trump says he’s inclined to cancel Florida rally later this month

4:34 p.m.
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President Trump spoke to reporters on March 12 about his administration's response to the coronavirus outbreak, assuring listeners, "It's going to go away." (The Washington Post)

President Trump said Thursday that he is inclined to cancel a rally planned in Florida later this month but boasted that the event, which has not been formally announced, was already “sold out.”

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters that the event in Tampa was the next large-scale event he has scheduled. It is not advertised on his campaign’s website.

“We have a big one in Tampa, all sold out, we have over 100,000 requests for tickets, but I think we’ll probably not do it because people will say it’s better to not do,” Trump said. “You know, we need a little separation until such time that this goes away. It’s going to go away, it’s going to go away. … In the meantime, we want to lose as few people as possible. So important.”

Trump also chided his Democratic rivals, who have also been canceling rallies, and falsely accused them of not drawing crowds.

“The Democrats won’t be having rallies, but no one showed up to their rallies anyway, so what difference does it make?” he said. “My rallies are very big, they’re very big rallies. We’ll be making a decision at an appropriate time. ... I don’t want people dying. That’s what I’m all about.”

His comments Thursday came after the White House announced late Wednesday that he had canceled a three-day trip to Nevada and Colorado, including a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, due to “an abundance of caution” over the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump’s campaign quickly followed suit and called off a “Catholics for Trump” kickoff rally scheduled in Milwaukee next week, which had been publicly announced just a day earlier.

Joe Biden appoints Jen O’Malley Dillon as new campaign manager

4:00 p.m.
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Biden has named Jen O’Malley Dillon as his new campaign manager, in a major shake-up that comes just as the party’s leading candidate plans a major organizational expansion to prepare for the general election, according to a person familiar with the decision.

The move is intended to quell concerns that have been raised in recent weeks by senior Democratic strategists about the leadership structure of the Biden campaign, which has been beset by underwhelming fundraising, scant staffing resources and organizational miscues during the early nominating contests.

The campaign shuffle is an acknowledgment that while Biden has had a remarkable recent run of victories — at least 15 of the past 21 contests — his operation was not up to the challenge posed by President Trump if Biden wins the nomination.

After Biden performed well below expectations in the Iowa caucuses, Anita Dunn, a senior adviser who previously worked for President Barack Obama, took operational control of the campaign, sharing responsibilities with Biden’s original campaign manager Greg Schultz.

Schultz, who prepared and built the Biden campaign and oversaw initial hiring and delegate strategy, is expected to stay on in a new role that will involve organizational planning and continued outreach to donors and other stakeholders, the person familiar with the plans said.

Read more here.

Pelosi says she doesn’t think Sanders should get out of the race

3:40 p.m.
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At her weekly news conference at the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) preempted reporters’ questions on the Democratic presidential primary and said she does not believe Sanders should drop out of the race.

“In case you were going to ask, no, I don’t think Bernie Sanders should get out of the race,” Pelosi said. “I’m a grass-roots person. … I know the enthusiasm of supporters for candidates, and they want to see it play out for the ideas, the causes that the candidate advances, for the opportunity for people to show their support.”

She added: “I congratulate both of the candidates as they go into the debate on Sunday, wish them both well. And I’m very pleased that we’re getting a chance now in a narrower field to be able to come close to having a standard-bearer for the party.”

Perez says no consideration being given to an online DNC convention

3:01 p.m.
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Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez says he’s not considering canceling the party’s July nominating convention in Milwaukee or replacing it with an online gathering.

“No, we are working with our state and local partners, and I’m confident that we can work a plan that will enable us to have our convention,” Perez said in an excerpt released Thursday from “Axios on HBO,” which is scheduled to air in full Sunday.

Asked about the prospect of shifting to an online convention, Perez said: “We’d have to change the rules, so we’re not contemplating rules changes, and I’m very confident that we’re going to be able to carry it off.”

Axios said the interview with Perez was conducted Monday.