Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), during Tuesday evening’s Democrat debate in Charleston, South Carolina, essentially likened the coronavirus outbreak to the climate change “crisis.”
During a brief segment on the coronavirus, Sanders brought the climate change “crisis” into the mix, addressing both with a similar level of urgency.
“What do we have to do? Whether or not the issue is climate change, which is clearly a global crisis requiring international cooperation, or infectious diseases like coronavirus, requiring international cooperation, we have to work and expand the World Health Organization,” Sanders said.
“Obviously, we have to make sure the CDC, the NIH, our infectious departments, are fully funded. This is a global problem. We’ve got to work with countries all over the world to solve it,” he added.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned on Tuesday the coronavirus will spread to the United States in a significant way.
“It’s not a question of if this will happen but when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illnesses,” she said. “Disruption to everyday life might be severe.”
“We really want to prepare the American public for the possibility that their lives will be disrupted because of this pandemic,” Messonnier stated.
“The data over the last week and spread in other countries has certainly raised our level of concern, and raised our level of expectation that we are going to have community spread here, so that has changed our tone,” she added.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday reported 80,238 coronavirus cases in 34 countries and 2,700 deaths related to the virus.
On Wednesday, Brazil’s Health Ministry confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Latin America.
It remains unclear if Sanders believes climate change, which he has described as a “global existential crisis,” is a bigger “crisis” than the coronavirus outbreak.