Dealing with the coronavirus was a dominant issue in the Democratic debate between former Vice President Joe Biden and socialist Senator Bernie Sanders on Sunday night.
As the two debated in a near-empty room standing six feet apart, both tried to show they were the best to lead the US through the pandemic.
Biden promised to deploy the US military to help with recovery efforts and warned a federal bailout may be necessary to stabilize the economy.
Sanders said his government health insurance plan would let the country respond faster to a health crisis.
And the former vice president made an unexpected announcement when he vowed to appoint a woman as vice president.
"I commit that I will, in fact, appoint a woman to be vice president," Biden said.
My running mate will be a woman. #DemDebate
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) March 16, 2020
When questioned on the same topic, Sanders echoed a similar response, "In all likelihood, I will. It is about making sure that we have a progressive woman and there are progressive women out there - so my very strong tendencies would be to move in that direction."
Both presidential hopefuls confirmed that rallies and events have been canceled, pointing out how they are protecting themselves from the coronavirus.
"I'm not shaking hands. Joe and I did not shake hands. I'm using a lot of soap and hand sanitizers to make sure that I do not get the infection," Sanders said.
Biden made it clear that he is taking similar protective measures.
"I wash my hands. God knows how many times a day. I carry with me, in my bag outside here, hand sanitizer," Biden said. "I don't know how many times a day I use that. I make sure I don't touch my face and so on. I'm taking all the precautions we're telling everybody else to take."
Each candidate tried to score some political points too by condemning President Trump's handling of the coronavirus.
Biden remarked on how Trump has managed testing, but Sanders specifically charged the president with undermining experts.
"He's undermining the doctors and the scientists who are trying to help the American people," Sanders claimed. "It is unacceptable for him to be blabbering un-factual information."
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 16, 2020
Biden mentioned expanded testing while Sanders turned to his theme of Medicare for All. He stressed to Americans that, "when you get sick, if you have the virus, that will be paid for," Sanders said. "If you lose your job, you will be made whole, you're not going to lose your income."
President Trump and members of Congress are already trying to take care of those things too, including free virus testing and assistance for hourly workers.
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel reacted to both candidates' criticism toward President Trump.
"President Trump is working around the clock and taking decisive, aggressive action to prioritize the health and safety of the American people. It is because of this strong leadership that President Trump, not whichever socialist the Democrats eventually nominate, will win re-election in November," McDaniel said in a statement.