Biden says he would mobilize the military to address coronavirus

Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt. participates in a Democratic presidential primary debate with former Vice President Joe Biden at CNN Studios Sunday

Former Vice President Joe Biden was given the first opportunity to tell the American people what he would do to combat the coronavirus at tonight's Democratic debate.

"Vice President Biden has no fever, no cough, no shortness of breath or other symptoms consistent with coronavirus, and the campaign has not been informed of or become aware of any relevant contact with an individual who has tested positive", Team Biden said in a statement.

Bernie Sanders says President Donald Trump needs to stop "blabbering" with inaccurate information about the novel coronavirus.

"We can take care of that right now by making sure that no one has to pay for treatment, period, because of the crisis", Biden said. "This is bigger than any one of us", Biden said. Biden said he would authorize government funds to cover treatment.

"It's not working in Italy right now, and they have a single-payer system", Biden concluded to contrast his healthcare plan of building on the Obamacare program vs. going to a radical Medicare for All proposal. Both said they were hosting "virtual" events with supporters, had asked their respective staffs to work from home, and were being personally careful with their hygiene.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, 77, noted that he doesn't have any of the "underlying conditions" that make the virus especially risky and said he was taking precautions that people in their 30s, 60s, or 80s should be doing.

"People are looking for results, not a revolution", Biden said, taking a shot at Sanders' promises to lead a political revolution to sweep in his anti-corporate economic agenda. Biden later said he also believes no one should have to pay. In addition to using hand sanitizer, Biden said he washes his hands "God know how many times a day with hot water and soap", and makes sure not to touch his face.

But then Biden pivoted and launched the first attack of the night at his rival for the Democratic nomination, painting Medicare for All as irrelevant when dealing with a public health crisis like the coronavirus.

Biden recounted his experience as vice president in President Barack Obama's administration in dealing with the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

The leading Democratic candidates are facing off Sunday night in Washington in the 11th debate of the primary season.

"The first thing we've got to do, whether or not I'm president, is to shut this president up right now", Sanders said from CNN's studios in Washington, D.C. They greeted each other with an elbow bump.



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