“Senator Sanders is still running for president,” spokesman Mike Casca first told The New York Times on Tuesday. “If there is a debate in April, he plans to be there.”
The news is the latest signal that the Vermont lawmaker plans to stay in the race for the foreseeable future as the nation reels from the ongoing spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has infected more than 55,000 Americans.
It’s unclear if the next debate, which the Democratic Nationa Committee previously said would be scheduled for April, will go ahead. The last debate, the first direct match between Biden and Sanders, included a host of health considerations, including podiums that were spaced at least six feet apart and a ban on a live audience.
Just last week, Sanders’ campaign said he would “assess” his bid for the White House after another round of primary losses. Biden built once again on his dominant performance during Super Tuesday, clinching Arizona, Florida and Illinois and securing a lead of around 300 delegates. Many primaries have been moved to later dates and both Sanders and Biden have canceled in-person events amid recommendations or orders to ban large gatherings.
Sanders has continued to appeal to Americans throughout the pandemic. He held one of his many online town halls on Tuesday to speak about the crisis as the Democratic primary battle has effectively ground to a halt.
Biden has also moved to address voters online. On Monday, he delivered remarks from his home about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, lambasting President Donald Trump’s response and saying the White House bears the “responsibility for our response.”
“The president says no one saw this coming. Well, that’s just not accurate,” Biden said. “The mindset that was slow to recognize the problem in the first place ... is still too much of how the president is addressing the problem.”
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