Bernie Sanders says Trump should stop ‘blabbering’ inaccuracies about virus

The Associated Press

Washington – Bernie Sanders says President Donald Trump needs to stop “blabbering” with inaccurate information about the novel coronavirus.

Sanders and Joe Biden are addressing how they’d respond to the new virus during the first questions in Sunday’s Democratic presidential debate. It’s the first debate between just the two Democratic presidential contenders and the first since the U.S. dramatically increased its response to the virus.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., participates in a Democratic presidential primary debate with former Vice President Joe Biden at CNN Studios, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Sanders says if he were president he would make sure no one has to pay for coronavirus testing or treatment. Biden later said he also believes no one should have to pay.

Biden says every state needs to have at least 10 drive-thru testing locations and that the Defense Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency need to be making plans to set up additional hospital beds.

The leading Democratic candidates are facing off Sunday night in Washington in the 11th debate of the primary season. The event was moved from Arizona, which votes Tuesday, because of concerns over the growing coronavirus pandemic, and is being held without an audience.

Biden also steps on the stage as the front-runner in a race dramatically different from the party’s last debate less than three weeks ago, following cascading wins that started with his resounding victory in the South Carolina primary. Other moderates departed the race, with several consolidating around Biden and united by a desire to block Sanders.

The fast-moving coronavirus has largely grounded the candidates, leading them to cancel rallies even as several big states prepare to vote on Tuesday. They greeted each other with an elbow bump.