Biden Advisor Explains How COVID-19 is Shaping His Campaign

Joe Biden swept three key states last night — Florida, Illinois and Arizona — putting him firmly on track to become the Democratic Party’s nominee. Symone Sanders, a senior advisor to Vice President Biden, joins Christiane to discuss what’s to come.

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SYMONE SANDERS, SENIOR ADVISOR, BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT: Well, so, one, we are extremely pleased with the results, obviously, of last night’s — yesterday’s contests in Illinois, Arizona and Florida. And we believe with last night, last night’s results that we have opened up, when all is said and done, we will be able to said, we’ve opened up a delegate lead of more than 320 delegates. That is three times the lead that then Senator Obama had over then Senator Clinton in 2008. And well over the lead that took place in 2016. I think that the threat of COVID-19, the coronavirus, though, is real and the anxiety that folks feel. That’s why when Vice President Biden gave his remarks last night, he did not spend the bulk of his remarks talking about the elections. Actually, if you look at his remarks, he spent the bulk of them talking about COVID-19, talking about what it’s going to take for us as Americans to meet this moment, thanking the first responders and the folks at the grocery stores who are coming in to work, stocking shelves, who are cleaning appliances and shelves and making it so that we can continue to go to the grocery store, making it so that we can continue to receive our mail. And I think that’s the type of leadership, frankly, that voters are looking for in this moment. And so, what we have seen over the last, I would say, week or so, is that Vice President Biden has risen to this challenge. You know, we came out last week and Vice President Biden gave a speech saying what he would do if he had to address the COVID-19 crisis himself, right, COVID-19 crisis right now. And I’m happy to see and we are pleased that President Trump seems to be now taking this threat a little more seriously. But the reality is there are things to do right now and we cannot let this go by the wayside. We have to be vigilant. Our hearts go out to everyone who has lost a loved one or friend due to COVID-19 and we know we are not out of the woods here yet.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: So, basically, what you are saying is that you are essentially pocketing the primaries. I mean, you are assuming to win and that you’re going straight to the general. So, you are basically describing a candidate, the vice president, who is, you know, sort of proving that he is ready from day one. And of course, he was there during the last administration when there were twin crises, Ebola on health and the financial crash. Obviously, they weren’t the same at this time.

SANDERS: Yes. Absolutely not the same as this time. But the reality is, Joe Biden knows what it takes to confront a crisis, whether a financial crisis, whether we’re talking about the crisis at the auto industry saw during the — in advance of and going into the Obama/Biden administration, whether we’re talking about health care. And so, now, we have — we are confronted with a global pandemic that is the coronavirus, and this is going to take leadership across party lines to stand up and truly come together and confront this crisis and move past it. But we cannot gloss over the fact that there are real issues and that there have been true failures when it comes to presidential leadership from the White House and President Trump.

About This Episode EXPAND

Dr. Peter Piot, one of the scientists spearheading efforts to combat COVID-19, shares his knowledge of the virus. Symone Sanders explains how the pandemic is affecting Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee, discusses how COVID-19 will affect the world’s refugees.