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Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg slam Trump over coronavirus

Sanders slams Trump at rally
Sanders slams Trump at rally 00:59

Bernie Sanders is shaming President Trump Friday for rallying in South Carolina on the eve of the Democratic primary, rather than addressing the burgeoning crisis caused by coronavirus.

"Everybody knows there is a coronavirus spreading all over the world," Sanders said, at an event in St. George, South Carolina, Friday. "You would think that you'd have a president of the United States leading, working with scientists all over the world, bringing people together to figure out how we're gonna deal with this crisis."

"He is here in South Carolina — he doesn't even have any opposition in the Republican primary," said Sanders.

"How pathetic and how petty can you be?" he asked. Sanders who has not brought up the topic on the trail before, challenged the president directly: "Hey Mr. Trump, why don't you worry about the coronavirus rather than disrupting the Democratic primary right here in South Carolina?"  

It's probably no surprise that Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, has some opinions about actions the president has taken so far on coronavirus. He eviscerated Mr. Trump Thursday, noting that the president had been briefed on coronavirus two months ago, "but he buried his head in the sand, and his failure to prepare is crippling our ability to respond, now that it's at our doorstep."

In remarks on the trail in Houston, Bloomberg said that the president had slashed funding for the Centers for Disease Control and fired the White House team in charge of pandemics.

"He predicted this was all going to be over in two months," Bloomberg said. "But the president is not a scientist. (That's a nice way to put it.) He doesn't even believe in science!"

On Friday, he was still criticizing the president. Rather than naming a czar to oversee the response, Bloomberg said he'd have a czar "in place all the time to address issues like this." But not someone like Vice President Pence. "You can't just bring in somebody. The vice president, I have met him once, nice guy," Bloomberg told PBS "NewsHour's" Judy Woodruff. He added, "But he was one of those people who said smoking has nothing to do with cancer. He just doesn't have the knowledge to do this job."

Bloomberg, while he was mayor, had to deal with the swine flu outbreak in 2009 and the West Nile virus in 2012. He told Woodruff that when he was mayor, "I had a person, a whole department that was there to address issues like swine flu and the air after 9/11, when people were breathing that air."

Tim Perry contributed to this report.

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