AFL-CIO cancels presidential forum over coronavirus

The event would have featured frontrunners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders

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AFL-CIO sign on DC building, July 2005
AFL-CIO sign on DC building, July 2005
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Last Updated:
March 8, 2020 - 4:20pm

The AFL-CIO on Sunday cancelled a Democratic presidential forum in Florida amid concerns about the country’s coronavirus outbreak. 

The forum was slated to feature primary frontrunners Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden — ahead of state’s critical March 17 primary. 

Carolyn Bobb, a spokeswoman for the AFL-CIO, a powerful labor union, which is considered a key endorsement for Democratic candidates, attributed the forum cancellation to the “ongoing coronavirus outbreak,” according to Politico

Two coronavirus deaths have been reported in Florida, among 19 so far in the U.S., most of which occurred in the state of Washington.

The swing state has 219 delegates up for grabs.

After winning 10 of 14 states on Super Tuesday, Biden leads in the unofficial delegate count with 664, while Sanders has 573. The number of candidates needed to win the nomination is 1,991.

Florida has bounced back and forth between Republicans and Democrats over the years: George W. Bush won the state twice, then Barack Obama won the state twice and most recently during the 2016 general election Donald Trump won the state.