Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, 61, has stepped down from his moderator duties for the Democratic debate after potentially being exposed to the Coronavirus (Covid-19), the network announced. The debate is set to take place on Sunday, March 15 and Univision’s Ilia Calderon will replace Ramos and join CNN’s, Dana Bash and Jake Tapper.
Out of an abundance of caution for coronavirus, @jorgeramosnews has decided to step aside from participating in the upcoming March 15 democratic debate. @iliacalderon will moderate the event in his place.
— Univision Noticias (@UniNoticias) March 12, 2020
“Both Mr. Ramos and the person he was in contact with are in good health and symptom-free,” DNC Communications Director Xochitl 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 Democratic debate.”
Out of an abundance of caution and to reduce cross-country travel, all parties decided to hold Sunday’s debate at CNN’s studio in D.C. with no live audience. Full statement below: pic.twitter.com/F72Q4yun0M
— Xochitl Hinojosa (@XochitlHinojosa) March 12, 2020
The debate will no longer be held in Arizona instead it’ll be moved to CNN’s Washington DC studio without a live audience for safety reasons. It’ll be the first time Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will be the only ones on a debate stage so without a studio audience or other candidates the exchanges will likely feel like more of a regular interview.
The Mexican-born American journalist – who turns 62 on the 16th of this month – is in the age range that is at a higher risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Ramos is based in Miami, Florida where there are now 46 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus. He previously interviewed Biden in mid-February in Las Vegas and was in Mexico covering the femicides protests. While there have been no reported deaths of the Coronavirus in Mexico the Dallas Morning News reports there are now 13 confirmed cases. According to a video he posted on the Real America with Jorge Ramos Instagram account, he was in contact with someone with Covid-19 last week while in New York and deemed it “three degrees of separation.” Despite stepping down from the debate, it seems like Ramos is still dedicated to his work, recently posting that Real America is seeking college students who are experiencing difficulties due to school closures.
“The most important lesson is the following: The next few months will be very difficult, we should recognize it,” he said in the video. “We should take a proactive attitude: wash our hands, have appropriate social distancing, but above all, think about those around you.”