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  • As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, Bernie Sanders' ideas are more relevant than ever to his supporters.

    As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, Bernie Sanders' ideas are more relevant than ever to his supporters. | Photo: EFE

Published 29 March 2020

"These are enormously important issues and we need serious debates over," Bernie Sanders said.

"In this unprecedented moment in American history, (people in the United States) want to hear the ideas that will lead us away from where we are right now," Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Friday in an interview with NPR Morning Edition Noel King.

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The senator, who is some 300 delegates behind former Vice-President Joe Biden, acknowledged in the interview that it would be a steep road to win the nomination for the presidential election. Nonetheless, and despite pressure on him to drop out, he said he will continue his campaign and that he was looking forward to more debates.

"These are enormously important issues and we need serious debates over them," he said.

At a moment where the focus in the U.S. has been completely shifted to stopping the coronavirus outbreak and relieving the millions of people stricken by its consequences, Sanders recalled that his ideas, visions, and programs are now more topical than ever.  

"People might not have thought that the United States Congress, the Republican president, the Republican Senate would do what they did," Sanders said about the US$1,200 coronavirus stimulus checks going out to most working U.S. citizens. 

"There's a reason for that. And that is that millions of people are now demanding that we have a government that works for all. What role should the campaign play in continuing that fight to make sure that health care becomes a human right, not a privilege, that we raise the minimum wage to a living wage, et cetera, et cetera."

"I think there is growing sentiment in this country that people now understand that it is incomprehensible that we remain the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all, that we have an economy which leaves half of our people...living paycheck to paycheck," Sanders said.

"What kind of system is it where people today are dying, knowing they're sick, but they're not going to the hospital because they can't afford the bill that they'll be picking up?" he asked.

The U.S. where the epidemic infected more than 140,000 people and caused almost 2,500 deaths, has no real public health system. Instead of it, a private for-profit system for those who can afford it or an insurance system for those who have a full-time job.

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