Biden and Sanders campaigns in regular contact to discuss coronavirus pandemic, aides say
“While the two campaigns obviously have their differences, they are working together to try to promote the health and safety of their teams, those who interact with the campaigns, and the American people,” she added.
An aide to Sanders also confirmed the conversations and said the discussions took place between top aides, not the candidates themselves.
The Washington Post first reported on the discussions.
The open line of communication between the two candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for president comes not only as the nation is gripped by coronavirus, but also as Sanders is weighing his next moves in the party’s primary race now that his path to the nomination has effectively closed.
Under normal circumstances, Sanders could do what he did in 2016: Stay in the race and spend the next three months pressuring his opponent to take progressive policy positions — all the while amassing delegates who could turn into leverage as the party develops its platform.
But the spread of the coronavirus has halted all in-person campaigning, preventing the Vermont senator from holding the large rallies that define his campaign. And the usual schedule of debates and primaries that would be opportunities for Sanders won’t exist this time.
When asked during a question and answer session with reporters Wednesday what his time frame was for making a decision about his campaign, Sanders did not want to discuss it, telling CNN’s Manu Raju, “I’m dealing with a f**king global crisis.”
Meanwhile, Biden has continued his march toward the nomination with virtual rallies and speeches.
His move to forgo in-person events comes as his campaign launched an advisory committee made of doctors, a former homeland security adviser and a former US Food and Drug Administration commissioner that the campaign said will provide advice on “steps the campaign should take to minimize health risks for the candidate, staff, and supporters.”
This story has been updated with additional background on the campaigns.