Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders met for their first one-on-one debate of the Democratic primary race on Sunday, with the debate held without an audience over coronavirus concerns.
The number of Democratic candidates for the latest debate was narrowed to two after almost all of the remaining contenders withdrew from the race.
Both Sanders and Biden, who are in their seventies, discussed the personal steps that they are taking to avoid contracting the coronavirus, including greeting each other with an elbow bump instead of the pre-debate handshake.
They clashed over whether “Medicare for All” would improve health outcomes during the coronavirus pandemic.
Both of them deplored President Donald Trump’s approach in fighting the coronavirus outbreak.
Biden called on the federal government to cover all costs of testing and treatments for COVID-19.
The former Vice President promised that he will choose a woman as his vice presidential candidate if he wins the Democratic nomination.
Sanders challenged Biden over his past record on matters like funding Social Security and the war in Iraq.
In the more than two hours—long debate held at a CNN studio in Washington, the two candidates also debated their voting records, campaign finance, immigration, foreign policy and climate change, among other issues.
In a gesture of mutual respect, each of the candidates vowed to campaign for the other if they were nominated.
Biden, who has a significant delegate lead over Sanders (890-736), and a wide popular vote lead (38 percent-30 percent), is the clear front-runner in the race to fight Donald Trump in the presidential election.
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