Bernie Sanders Shifts Campaign Efforts To Help Fight Against Coronavirus, Raises $2 Million For Relief Efforts

Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters at a rally.
Cengiz Yar / Getty Images

Facing a large and growing deficit in the Democratic primary and increasing calls for him to drop out of the race, Bernie Sanders shifted his efforts this week away from campaigning and toward helping in the fight against the coronavirus, raising $2 million from supporters.

The Vermont senator lost a series of races to former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday, leaving him with a nearly impossible deficit to make up now with several weeks off until the next primaries. While many in the Democratic Party called on Sanders to suspend his campaign, he instead sent a message to supporters asking them to help a series of organizations on the front lines of the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

As The Hill reported, the Sanders campaign raised more than $2 million over the course of 48 hours. As the report noted, the money is going to a series of organizations protecting low-wage workers from the economic impact of the outbreak and other groups that are distributing food and other necessities.

The beneficiaries included No Kid Hungry, One Fair Wage Emergency Fund, Meals on Wheels, Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the campaign announced.

Though he has fallen far behind Biden in the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination, Sanders has still wielded a significant online fundraising operation. As CNN reported, he took in a total of $46.6 million in the month of February, leading the field for his party.

The Sanders campaign praised the dedication of its supporters in raising money for coronavirus relief.

“What we’ve seen in the last two days is the definition of fighting for someone you don’t know,'” Robin Curran, the Sanders campaign’s digital fundraising director, said in a statement. “The people supporting this campaign have made more than 50,000 donations to help those most impacted by coronavirus because they understand that now more than ever it is important that we are in this together.”

Sanders this week made an address on the coronavirus and has been one of the most vocal advocates for monetary relief for average Americans. As Congress has debated the size of relief checks sent to Americans or what formula would be used to determine how much each person or family could receive, Sanders has pushed one of the most aggressive plans, calling for the government to send checks of $2,000 to every household in America every month for the duration of the crisis.