Biden to hold virtual events in Florida, Illinois amid coronavirus

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2020 presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that planned campaign stops in Florida and Illinois will be turned into virtual events as a safety precaution against the coronavirus outbreak.

Biden previously had planned to appear in both states ahead of next Tuesday's primaries.

The campaign announced that Biden decided not to hold large-scale events in the states after consulting with officials.

The former vice president said Tuesday night he’d be announcing plans to combat the coronavirus later this week.

"The health and safety of the public is our number-one priority," a statement from Biden's campaign, released to Fox News, read. "We have been and continue to consult with relevant officials, including our recently announced Public Health Advisory Committee, regarding the steps the campaign should take to minimize health risks for staff and supporters."

Also Tuesday, both Biden and his chief rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., canceled their planned election night-night rallies in Ohio amid coronavirus fears.

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Democratic National Committee officials also said this Sunday's debate between Sanders and Biden will take place without a live audience.

Biden scored a decisive victory Tuesday in Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho, dealing a serious blow to Sanders and widening his path to the presidential nomination.

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Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Arizona all hold primaries this coming Tuesday followed a week later by Georgia. Sanders lost all five of those states in the 2016 primary race to eventual nominee Hillary Clinton.

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and The Associated Press contributed to this report.