Updated at 12:31 p.m.
The coronavirus has rapidly and dramatically shifted the mood and the political reality in the presidential race.
Joe Biden is set to deliver remarks responding to the virus Thursday afternoon from his home state of Delaware. The former vice president's statement comes hours after President Trump addressed the nation about his administration's response to the pandemic, though it also brought additional confusion when he announced a 30-day ban on travel for foreign nationals coming to America from many European nations.
Stocks plunged Thursday morning in the aftermath of the president's announcement.
Biden and fellow Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders have criticized Trump's response to the crisis. In a roundtable convened in Detroit on Monday, the Vermont senator said Trump's response up until that point was making the epidemic worse.
And with his remarks Thursday, Biden, the Democratic front-runner, is trying to present himself as a calm, experienced alternative to Trump.
On Wednesday, he announced the formation of a public health advisory committee to provide "science-based expert advice" the campaign should take to minimize risk to both Biden and his supporters.
"We know the number of cases are going to go up," said Zeke Emanuel, a member of Biden's advisory committee. "It changes the nature of campaigning seriously." Both Sanders and Biden cancelled rallies in Ohio earlier this week. Emanuel said given the nature of the crisis, he can't advise when campaign rallies should begin again.
Biden's campaign has decided that in lieu of rallies, it will be holding "virtual events" in Illinois and Florida. Those states, along with Ohio and Arizona, vote next Tuesday.
Additionally, the Democratic National Committee announced Thursday that Sunday's Biden-Sanders debate will be held in Washington, D.C., rather than Phoenix, to minimize travel. The DNC had already announced that the debate would happen without a live audience.
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