‘I wash my hands God knows how many times a day!’ Joe Biden, 77, and Bernie Sanders, 78, tell how they are protecting themselves from coronavirus – despite both sniffing and coughing at times during debate
- Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were asked what they were personally asked what they were doing to ensure they didn’t contract the coronavirus
- Both Democrats said during CNN’s Sunday night debate that they were washing their hands and using hand sanitizer
- They also have cancelled campaign rallies and are doing livestreamed events and speeches instead
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders both explained how they were protecting themselves against coronavirus during Sunday night’s Democratic debate – as they coughed and sniffed through the back-and-forth.
‘I wash my hands God knows how many times a day. I carry with me, in my bag outside here, hand sanitizer. I don’t know how many times a day I use that. I make sure I don’t touch my face and so on,’ said Biden, who at 77 is at higher risk than most Americans.
At 78-years-old, Sanders is in the same category.
Joe Biden (left) and Bernie Sanders (right) did an elbow bump as they greeted each other Sunday night to debate at CNN’s Washington, D.C. studios
CNN’s Dana Bash (left) asked the two Democrats what they were doing to ensure they didn’t contract coronavirus while campaigning for president
The Sunday night Democratic debate was unique in that there was no audience and the candidates’ podiums were set up six-feet apart.
When Sanders and Biden came out they did an elbow bump instead of the customary hand shake.
Sanders, a senator from Vermont, pointed that out to CNN’s Dana Bash when asked how he was taking care of himself in the wake of the outbreak.
‘So on a personal level, what we’re doing is I’m not shaking hands. Joe and I did not shake hands,’ Sanders pointed out. ‘And I’m very careful about the people I am interacting with.’
Sanders added that he’s taking other precautions as well.
‘I’m using a lot of soap and hand sanitizers to make sure that I do not get the infection. And I have to say thank God right now I do not have any symptoms and I feel very grateful for that,’ Sanders said.
When it was Biden’s turn to answer the question, he said he didn’t have any ‘underlying conditions.’
Sanders had a heart attack in October.
As the two final Democratic contenders – with Tulsi Gabbard still in the race and Biden winning the delegate race, both Biden and Sanders also talked about how they modified campaign events to deal with the crisis.
”Last night we had a fireside chat, not the rally. I love doing rallies and we bring thousands of people out to the rallies. We’re not doing that right now,’ Sanders said.
He added that his campaign staff – based in Washington, D.C. – was working from home.
Biden said his staff, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was also tele-working.
‘We are not doing rallies. We’re doing virtual rallies and virtual town hall meetings,’ the former vice president said.
Coronavirus changed the way both Democrats campaigned as of Tuesday, with Sanders and then Biden deciding to cancel their primary night rallies in Cleveland, Ohio.
Since then, neither Democrat has held an event with a large audience.
Biden spoke to a small group of supporters in Philadelphia after he won primaries in Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri, while Sanders stayed home in Burlington, Vermont.
Sanders has livestreamed speeches from Burlington this week, while Biden has done the same from Wilmington, Delaware.
The two Democrats came to Washington, D.C., Sunday night and debated in CNN’s studios without an audience.