AuthorConniff, Ruth

A few short months ago, neither the coronavirus pandemic nor Joe Biden's coronation were visible on the horizon.

We're living in a different world now.

As we shelter in place, with our schools, workplaces, restaurants, and playgrounds shut down, watching Donald Trump fumble his way through news conferences--giving himself a "10" for his dangerously inept handling of a global disaster he once called a hoax and now calls the "Chinese virus"--it looks as though the guy who seemed least on his toes in the Democratic primary debates will be representing the majority of Americans who want to defeat Trump in November.

The two events are not directly related. Biden won a majority of Democratic delegates not because he seems like the safest bet in a crisis (although some voters think he is). He won because the establishment finally and fully threw its weight behind him, after months of considering every other alternative, from an inexperienced small-town mayor to an arrogant former Republican billionaire who dropped in late and spent half a billion dollars, proposing to save our democracy by buying the election.

When none of the other options worked out, the moderate bloc closed ranks behind Biden, and "Joementum" became a self-fulfilling prophesy.

What happened to the most diverse presidential primary field in U.S. history? What happened to Elizabeth Warren and the powerful group of women who cleaned Biden's clock in the debates? What happened to the revolution?

Bernie Sanders was right. In his debate with Biden on March 15, held in a sealed CNN studio without a live audience to avoid contagion, Sanders said that the current pandemic exposes the great vulnerability of our unequal, increasingly unjust society.

As Sanders pointed out, the United States spends twice as much per capita on health care as other developed countries, but our patchwork of private insurance providers that exclude millions of people leaves us woefully unprepared to launch an effective, coordinated response to this public health crisis.

Add to that the desperate situation of workers already living paycheck to paycheck, and the need to raise the minimum wage, tax the rich, provide universal health care, and restore the social safety net becomes undeniable.

The coronavirus pandemic exposes the huge cracks in our society that Sanders has been pointing out all along.

Biden's response in the debate was to say that the nation is in the throes of "a national crisis" that "has nothing...

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