CHICAGO (CBS Chicago/CBS News) — Joe Biden has beaten Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary, CBS News reported.
The primary was held with the coronavirus pandemic looming large.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Breezy On Tuesday
Sanders held a rally in Grant Park a week ago Saturday. But since then, both campaign operations have canceled their rallies and gone virtual amid concerns about COVID-19.
When Biden and Sanders faced off in the 11th Democratic debate Sunday night, they did so from Washington, D.C. without a live audience. The original plan had been to hold the debate with an audience in Phoenix.
The early questions in the debate and the closing remarks focused on the candidates’ plans to deal with the pandemic. Biden also committed to pick a woman as a running mate.
“This is bigger than any one of us. This calls for a national rallying of everybody together,” Biden said about coronavirus. He then pivoted to describe his plan to address the outbreak that he unveiled on Thursday.
Sanders, meanwhile, slammed Mr. Trump’s response to the outbreak, saying the first priority was to “shut this president up right now.” Sanders said that Mr. Trump was undermining scientists by promoting untrue information.
Both candidates committed to campaigning for the other if they didn’t win the nomination and said they would focus on defeating President Trump.READ MORE: Staffer In Gov. Pritzker's Office Tests Positive For COVID-19 After Getting First Dose Of Vaccine
Biden, meanwhile, committed for the first time to picking a woman as a running mate, not to mention vowing to put the first black woman on the Supreme Court, while Sanders said “in all likelihood” he would also choose a woman running mate.
The Illinois primary went on Tuesday despite the coronavirus epidemic that has kept people inside and closed schools, restaurants, bars, and other venues. Gov. JB Pritzker said Sunday that the primary would go ahead because it was not known when it could be held if it were rescheduled.
Chicago Board of Elections spokesman James Allen had said, in a call with the governor’s staff last week, the board urged the state to cancel in-person voting on Tuesday, and move to voting by mail only, but their request was rejected.
Allen also noted the governor on Monday said he was mandating a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people, and asked how that could be reconciled with having an election,
But Pritzker said he would not use the COVID-19 crisis as an excuse to “supersede my constitutional authority.”
“There are people out there today who want to say, ‘Oh, it’s a crisis, bend the rules, and overstep your authority.’ Let me tell you this. It is exactly in times like these when the constitutional boundaries of our democracy should be respected above all else, and if people want to criticize me for that, well go ahead, I’ll wear it like a badge of honor,” Pritzker said at his daily briefing on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ohio was also supposed to vote Tuesday, but after the state closed the polls, citing warnings about the spread of coronavirus, the state Supreme Court agreed with the decision, ruling early Tuesday that Ohio’s primary could be moved to July 2.MORE NEWS: Cubs Bullpen Coach Chris Young Tests Positive For COVID-19, Leading To Worry About Possible Outbreak
Other states, too, have been moving their primaries in response to the virus. Georgia, which had been scheduled to vote on March 24, has postponed its primary until May. Louisiana, which had been set to vote on April 24, has postponed its primary until June.