The Sunday morning news shows on March 8 focused once again on the coronavirus outbreak. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson appeared on ABC News to discuss efforts to curb the spread of the virus. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also addressed the matter in a conversation with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press.
It wasn’t just the coronavirus that received attention, though. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made the rounds again, explaining why he thinks he is the best choice to take on President Donald Trump in November.
Sanders Comes For Biden
In an appearance on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Sanders once again gave his sales pitch to Democratic voters. It was his usual schtick, railing against corporations and the wealthy while promising that everything in life will be free if he is elected. But he also took aim at former Vice President Joe Biden, who delivered a political beatdown to everyone’s favorite socialist on Super Tuesday.
This time, Sanders maligned Biden’s voting record in the Senate. “What I’m saying here is that people want somebody who has a history of standing up and making the tough decisions in tough times,” he said. Sanders differentiated his record from Biden’s by emphasizing his votes on issues like abortion and gay marriage.
Sanders: Warren Had to Drop Out Because Sexism
In another appearance, on State of the Union with host Jake Tapper, Sanders opined on the reason why Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was unsuccessful in her bid for the Democratic nomination. However, instead of giving a nuanced and coherent analysis, he fell back on the usual progressive trope: Bigotry.
When Tapper asked the senator if he believed sexism played a role in Warren’s failure, Sanders replied: “Look, the short answer is yes, I do. I think women have obstacles placed in front of them that men do not have. [We’re] making progress, but it’s too slow, and we’ve got to get rid of all the sexism that exists.”
Curiously absent from the exchange was any mention of the fact that the Democratic Party changed the rules to prevent Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) from participating in the next debate. Oddly, the senator didn’t recall that Hillary Clinton received the Democratic nomination in 2016 and ended up winning the popular vote.
What About The Coronavirus?
The coronavirus outbreak received ample time on both ABC News and NBC News. Dr. Ben Carson spoke about the spread of the illness with George Stephanopoulos. The host pointed out that an expert told the American Hospital Association the virus could infect close to 100 million Americans. He asked whether or not the nation should prepare for these numbers.
“There’s no question that we should be informed about how we should manage our own lives,” Carson replied. He continued:
“It’s very important for people to understand that this virus is like other viruses – should be treated the same way. So, we have flu seasons that come up frequently, and there are certain precautions that you take during that time to make sure that you don’t contract a virus.”
Carson also noted that it is mostly the elderly and those with “underlying medical conditions” who are the most vulnerable to the illness. The disease does not typically have a fatal impact on younger people who are infected. “So, there’s a little bit of exaggeration in terms of what happens if you contract the virus,” Carson said.
On NBC’s Meet The Press, host Chuck Todd interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci. Referencing President Donald Trump’s claims that anybody who wants a test would be able to get one, Todd asked how many people have been tested so far. Fauci responded:
“Yeah, well, what’s happened now is that we really are accelerating dramatically. I mean, early on, there were some missteps with regard to the test and some technical aspects to it. But right now I believe 1.1 million tests have already been sent out. By Monday there’ll be an additional 400,000. And by the end of next week, probably around four million.”
Todd then asked if the U.S. should take precautions similar to that of Italy’s government, which has quarantined about 16 million of its citizens to prevent the spread of the virus. Dr. Fauci echoed Carson’s sentiments, reminding Todd that those with underlying conditions are at the highest risk. But he did give some simple advice to Americans: “When I say ‘protect,’ I mean right now. Not wait until things get worse. Say no large crowds, no long trips, and above all, don’t get on a cruise ship.”
Read more from Jeff Charles.