Biden, Sanders condemn Trump amid coronavirus outbreak

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) in interviews on Sunday both condemned President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s and his administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The two 2020 Democratic presidential candidates criticized the president’s response as the threat from the virus expands in the U.S., with the first recorded death from the disease confirmed in Washington state on Saturday.

Biden said on ABC’s “This Week” that his response as president would have been “fundamentally different,” denouncing the administration for previously cutting funding to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and appointing Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence posts, deletes photo of Trump campaign staff without face masks, not social distancing Pence threatens to deploy military if Pennsylvania governor doesn’t quell looting Pence on Floyd: ‘No tolerance for racism’ in US MORE to lead the fight against the disease, among other concerns. 

“This has been outrageous the way they proceeded,” he said. “They should let the scientists speak.”

The former vice president also slammed Trump for comments during a rally in South Carolina where the president called the Democrats’ criticism of the coronavirus response “a hoax” and compared it to the impeachment.

“This is not a Democratic hoax,” Biden said. “This is incompetence on the part of the president of the United States at the expense of the country and the world.”

Sanders on the same show also knocked the administration’s reaction to the outbreak, saying that as governments globally are trying to combat the virus, Trump took to South Carolina to “undermine” the Democratic primary, which “blows me away.” 

“How pathetic is it that in the midst of an international health care crisis, you’ve got a president running into South Carolina trying to steal some media attention away from Democrats,” the senator said.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar also appeared on “This Week” Sunday and cautioned against the “partisan sniping that we’re seeing.”

“We don’t need to have this made a political issue,” he said. “We’re in a public health crisis here. We need to all be banding together.”

The coronavirus has infected 72 people in the U.S., among more than 87,000 worldwide. Almost 3,000 have been killed from the virus, with one in the U.S. thus far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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