Sen. Bernard Sanders’ presidential campaign raised more than $2 million in 48 hours for efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak, Mr. Sanders’ team said on Saturday.
Robin Curran, the campaign’s digital fundraising director, said there have been more than 50,000 donations.
The campaign had sent texts and emails to raise funds for Meals on Wheels, No Kid Hungry, Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, One Fair Wage Emergency Fund, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
Mr. Sanders is facing a daunting deficit to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary contest — a race that has now ground to a halt due to the expanding COVID-19 outbreak.
Mr. Biden held a virtual fundraiser on Friday evening with New Jersey donors through a Zoom video conference, after several recent fundraising events had been put off because of the coronavirus.
“My thoughts are with the families who have been suffering, for anyone who has been ill, and or God forbid, anyone who has passed,” he said, according to a pool report of the event. “There’s an awful lot of people who are just scared to death, separated from their loved ones.”
Mr. Biden also thanked the audience for allowing him to “stay in the game” and said President Trump’s team hopes he won’t have the money to respond to attacks.
“I feel good about what we’ve done so far, people are rallying to the cause,” Mr. Biden said. “We’ve raised a fair amount of money and I think we’re going to be able to be competitive, in no small part because of your help, although a lot of online money is being raised as well.”
After a recent string of victories, Mr. Biden now has 1,201 delegates to the Democratic National Convention compared to Mr. Sanders’ 896, according to the latest tally from the Associated Press.
The former vice president needs to win about 46% of the remaining delegates to hit the magic number of 1,991 delegates, which is needed to clinch the party’s nomination on the first ballot.
Mr. Sanders needs to win about 64% — a task made more difficult by Democrats’ proportionality rules for delegate distributions.
A number of states are also postponing their nominating contests now due to concerns over COVID-19.