Bernie Sanders has lashed the Trump administration for what it characterises as an “inadequate and misleading” response to the coronavirus.
This came as reports indicated the administration’s decision to repatriate sufferers in contradiction of CDC advice had led to federal workers being exposed to the virus, seemingly now leading to community transmissions amidst growing concerns about a global pandemic.
In a statement, the campaign said “concern about the coronavirus continues to grow, yet the Trump administration’s response has been inadequate, misleading, and dangerous. By picking Vice President Mike Pence to lead the administration’s response to the pandemic, Trump has not only chosen someone completely unqualified, but the president has made clear that he’s more concerned about his own politics than the health and safety of the country.”
As Indiana Governor, Pence was heavily criticised for his management of a HIV epidemic stemming from needle sharing during the opioid crisis.
In a further statement, Sanders pivoted to the issue of Medicare for All and drug prices, condemning remarks made at a congressional hearing, saying “it is outrageous that during Congressional testimony today, Trump’s HHS Secretary Alex Azar would not guarantee that a coronavirus vaccine would be affordable to all.”
The issue of drug prices has been a major part of the broader issues raised by Sanders around healthcare costs, with Americans paying the highest prices in the world or many medications.
The remarks came as candidates jockeyed for position ahead of the South Carolina primary Saturday and the call crucial Super Tuesday primaries next week. Whilst most polls show Joe Biden likely to come out on top in South Carolina, Sanders is well positioned to solidify his front runner status with strong performances in most Super Tuesday states.