The presidential candidate appeared on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon,” on Wednesday and spoke candidly about how the United States should tackle some issues associated with the outbreak.
He noted that the country is run by a president who is “anti-science” and who subsequently appointed Vice President Mike Pence, who is not “known to be much of a scientist,” to lead the task force in charge of the disease; and he went on to say that the country needs someone it can trust to do everything they can to fight this pandemic.
Sanders then offered some emergency measures the government could take:
We have to make sure that everybody, right now, feels free when you’re sick to go to a doctor, regardless of your income. And you know what? The government will pay that bill. Number two, we are the only major country on Earth not to guarantee paid medical leave. If you can believe it, there are people who are sick today, who may actually believe they have symptoms of the coronavirus who are going to work because they have no income. ... We have got to do what every other country on Earth does and guarantee paid family and medical leave and do it right now on an emergency basis.
Sanders also addressed the need for a coronavirus vaccine and the Trump administration’s refusal to guarantee it will be “affordable” because it has “got to worry about the drug companies.”
“That is a crock. That is ridiculous. We have got to make sure that when that vaccine comes out, it is available to everybody in this country, regardless of their income,” he said.
Sanders’ remarks come on the heels of Trump meeting with executives from Gilead Sciences, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Moderna, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi to discuss creating a coronavirus vaccine. CNBC noted that Trump lauded the companies as the “biggest in the world” and the “most prestigious,” but also “threatened to implement a drug pricing plan the industry is trying to stave off.”
Sanders also lambasted Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail and implored him to focus on the issues the country is facing instead of the Democratic primary.
“What amazes me, here we have a stock market that is collapsing. You have a coronavirus that is scaring the entire world. We have climate change, which is a threat to the human planet, and Donald Trump keeps worrying about the Democratic primary,” he said.
“So, Mr. President, if you watch anything other than Fox [News], I don’t know that you do. Why don’t you do your job? Pay attention to the needs of the American people. Don’t worry so much about the Democratic primary.”