Bernie Sanders' campaign blasted the state of New York on Monday for its decision to cancel its June 23 primary amid the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Post reports. The move is a blow to the Vermont senator's now-suspended campaign, which is planning to gain as many delegates as possible to exert pressure on the Democratic Party and push a progressive agenda.
"Just last week [former] Vice President Biden warned the American people that President Trump could use the current crisis as an excuse to postpone the November election," senior advisor Jeff Weaver wrote in a statement to supporters. "Well, he now has a precedent thanks to New York state."
The Sanders campaign claimed that the move — which will cede over 274 delegates to Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee — is an affront to progressives and an attempt to punish people on the fringes of the Democratic Party.
"New York has clearly violated its approved delegate selection plan," Weaver wrote, before calling for the state to lose all of its delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention unless it reverses its decision.
As reported by Fox News, the move to cancel the primary comes after Sanders' campaign explicitly asked that the former candidate's name stay on the ballot.
"With this decision, New York became the first state to cancel its primary altogether, though 16 states have postponed their primaries amid the pandemic and many have taken steps to encourage voting by mail," the report reads.Among the people who have expressed disagreement with the unprecedented decision is New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who campaigned with Sanders during his time on the trail.
Michael Seymour, an attorney representing the Sanders campaign, penned a letter in which he argued that the Vermont senator's decision to suspend his campaign was made under the assumption that he would be allowed to remain on the ballot.
"The retroactive application of [the change in election law] would severely impact Senator Sanders' core substantive rights," Seymour wrote in the letter, which was obtained by HuffPost.
Biden currently has 1,305 delegates while Sanders has 939.
New York's controversial announcement comes as information corroborating Tara Reade, who accused Biden of assaulting her in 1993, continues to trickle out from the media. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Briahna Joy Gray, former spokesperson for Sanders' campaign, accused the media of protecting the former vice president throughout the primary. She pointed to the high degree of positive media attention Biden reportedly received and the lack of coverage of Reade's accusations.