WASHINGTON                       –              White Home hopefuls Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders launched a joint assault on Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as they confronted off in a high-stakes debate Sunday, accusing the president of undermining his personal scientists with misinformation.

The 2 rivals additionally sparred about their file, making the most of the primary one-on-one format of the marathon marketing campaign to have interaction in prolonged — although civil — coverage clashes on all the things from common well being care and local weather change to deportations and international coverage. However with Biden showing to have a superb evening, using excessive because the frontrunner following three weeks of robust performances in a number of primaries, the 77-year-old made a splash by saying he’ll “commit” to selecting a feminine working mate if he’s the Democratic nominee.

Sanders mentioned he would “in all likelihood” do the identical, following essentially the most numerous nomination contest in US historical past that noticed no fewer than six ladies within the working to tackle Trump in November. Going face to face days earlier than 4 giant states maintain Democratic primaries, the 2 essential candidates left within the race stood six ft (1.eight meters) aside and elbow bumped each other firstly of a televised debate held with no stay viewers as a virus precaution.

Sanders, the 78-year-old underdog, took a stinging shot on the president, accusing him of fomenting confusion and eroding public belief in a time of disaster. “We have to shut this president up right now because he’s undermining the doctors and the scientists who are trying to help the American people,” Sanders added, referring to a number of Trump statements at odds with skilled views. “It is unacceptable for him to be blabbering unfactual information that is harming the American public.”

Biden primarily agreed, saying: “the existential threat to the United States of America is Donald Trump.” With the talk overshadowed by the fast-moving well being disaster, Biden and Sanders spent the primary half-hour on the way to handle the pandemic which has already brought about virtually 70 deaths and greater than 3,600 coronavirus circumstances nationwide.

“We’re at war with the virus,” mentioned the previous vice chairman. “I would call out the military. Now,” he added, warning that the Pentagon and the Federal Emergency Administration Company should step in instantly to dramatically broaden the variety of intensive care beds. “The present system can not handle the surge that is likely to come,” he mentioned.

Sanders known as for “aggressively” ramping up testing but additionally for increasing the security web to verify Individuals usually are not pushed deeper into financial disaster. “What happens if I’m sick? It’s going to cost thousands of dollars for treatment. Who is going to feed my kids?” Sanders mentioned, placing himself within the sneakers of a workingclass guardian. This 11th Democratic debate has positioned essentially the most intense highlight but on the duel between the previous vice chairman and the leftist US senator from Vermont. Of the 4 states voting Tuesday, Florida, Illinois and Ohio have among the many largest troves of Democratic delegates at stake.


Each candidates have cancelled deliberate rallies, and on Sunday they acknowledged shifting from stay gatherings to televised or on-line occasions — and that they’re every taking precautions like routine hand-washing to keep away from getting contaminated.

Scrapping stay occasions might pose a specific handicap to Sanders, who has persistently mobilized giant and enthusiastic crowds. He could discover one benefit. The pandemic “exposes the incredible weakness and dysfunction of our current healthcare system,” mentioned Sanders, who advocates a government-run system that expands protection to all Individuals.