8.19pm EDT 20:19 Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are sparring over whether the coronavirus crisis underscores the need for an overhaul of the US healthcare system. Biden is essentially arguing that America needs to take extraordinary steps to combat the virus but not necessarily long-term steps toward changing our healthcare system. Sanders is arguing that
Democratic debate begins
Biden and Sanders tap elbows to greet each other
Biden and Sanders emphasize threat of coronavirus as Trump downplays
Despite his recent series of bruising losses, Bernie Sanders has refused to throw in the towel, saying this week that though he may be “losing the debate over electability”, he is a champion for the views of most younger voters and wants to influence the general election platform.
Nick Carter, Sanders’ political outreach director in 2016, told the New York Times the Vermont senator was “pivoting to ensure that the issues that he has built his political career around continue to be front and center in the political dialogue.
“I also think he has [at the] top of [his] mind ensuring his supporters and those unenthusiastic about a Biden candidacy don’t call it a day.”
Many in the Democratic establishment would prefer the independent from Vermont admit defeat and put his shoulder to the wheel for Biden.
In emails to the Guardian, Martin O’Malley, a former Baltimore mayor, Maryland governor and candidate for the presidential nomination, said he was “guessing, most kindly, that Bernie is thinking as quickly as Biden sprung back to political life, he could as easily stumble and so he has an obligation to hang in there.
“What he risks is that more and more people [see] his messiah veneer fall away and his hypocrisy on many issues – gun safety, immigration reform, Russia interference – will strip away his lovable old uncle persona.”
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Biden and Sanders to debate amid coronavirus pandemic