Sen. Bernie Sanders is not done running for president, and he’s tired of saying so. “For the fourth time,” Sanders said assertively in an interview on The View this week, “we are assessing the campaign.”
Sanders had faced calls to drop out since early last month when Biden began his all-but unstoppable ascent to the nomination. However, with the race for the nomination effectively in a state of suspension amid the coronavirus pandemic, the 78-year-old Vermont senator has not backed down.
Covid-19 has greatly damaged the US economy and strained the healthcare system, claiming more than 9,600 lives and possibly 10 million jobs. Now, the twin economic and public health crises give Sanders and allies a significant boost to his calls for universal healthcare and an extensive expansion of the social safety net.
“In many ways, this pandemic has made the case for a lot of the policies that the senator has spent 35 years fighting for,” quoted Anna Bahr, spokeswoman for the Sanders campaign. “Reality has endorsed Bernie Sanders.”
Sanders has turned his focus almost completely to the coronavirus pandemic and says its a crisis that is on the “scale of a major war.” In glitchy media interviews from his residence in Vermont, the senator had argued that the US would be better equipped and more resilient in the face of a future pandemic if his policy agenda were implemented.
His continued presence in the race alarms many Democrats, haunted by the fallout from a divisive primary four years ago they believe led to Hillary Clinton’s defeat by Donald Trump in 2016. Sanders, they argue, had a year to make a case for his political revolution and should now bow out and help the party win.