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    Bernie Sanders spoke on the "health and economic crisis" facing the U.S. as the coronavirus spreads in the country. | Photo: EFE

Published 12 March 2020
Opinion

The Vermont senator demanded that President Donald Trump declare a state of emergency over the outbreak.

Presidential hopeful and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke Thursday on the "health and economic crisis" facing the United States (U.S.) as the coronavirus spreads in the country.

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"Now is the time for solidarity," Sanders said. "Now is the time to come together with love and compassion for all, including the most vulnerable people in our society."

The Vermont senator demanded that President Donald Trump declare a state of emergency over the outbreak and urged Congress to start working right away to guarantee every person in the U.S. access the healthcare they need "without cost." 

He added that any coronavirus vaccine must be free and available to all. "Now is not the time for price-gouging and profiteering," Sanders said.

He continued his address calling for an "immediate moratorium on evictions, on foreclosures, and utility shut-offs so that no one loses their home during this crisis, and that everyone has access to clean water, electricity, heat and air conditioning."

Sanders and his 2020 Democratic presidential rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, have both been forced to cancel campaign rallies due to the epidemic.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced Thursday that it is moving the presidential debate scheduled for Sunday from Phoenix, Arizona to Washington, D.C. "out of an abundance of caution and in order to reduce cross-country travel."

"All parties have decided that the best path forward is to hold Sunday's debate at CNN's studio in Washington, D.C., with no live audience," DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement.

On the other hand, the Trump administration was criticized for its response to the coronavirus outbreaks and for its lack of transparency, including removing experts and providing false or incomplete information to the public. 

COVID-19 has killed thus far 41 people in the U.S. and infected more than 1,716 people.

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