Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called for authority over the coronavirus outbreak to be handed to an emergency bipartisan group of experts and to Congress rather than President Donald Trump.
Sanders called on President Trump to declare an “emergency” — something Trump already did on Jan. 31 — and then added that the president should essentially, be replaced:
Because President Trump is unwilling and unable to lead selflessly, we must immediately convene an emergency bipartisan authority of experts to support and direct a response [to coronavirus] that is comprehensive, compassionate, and based first and foremost on science and fact. In other words, Congress in a bipartisan manner must take responsibility for addressing this unparalleled crisis.
Sanders did not explain what constitutional mechanism he would use to transfer the president’s authority.
The democratic socialist from Vermont also blamed America’s health care system for the crisis, saying the U.S. was at a disadvantage “because we do not guarantee health care to all people as a right.”
He also warned that “the number of casualties may actually be even higher than what the armed forces experienced in World War II.”
Sanders and his rival for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden, each gave addresses Thursday — both highly partisan in tone and critical of the president’s efforts thus far.
Biden released a plan for confronting the pandemic that repeated many steps Trump has already taken, and added a few others — including action to fight climate change, though it did not explain what one issue had to do with the other.
Both Sanders and Biden opposed President Trump’s early decision to ban travel from China in January. Sanders said last week that he would not close the borders of the country to stop the spread of the coronavirus from abroad.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.