- Title: Coronavirus fears force Sanders campaign volunteers inside
- Date: 15th March 2020
- Summary: CLEVELAND, OHIO, UNITED STATES (MARCH 14, 2020) (REUTERS) PAN OF ORGANIZERS WITH SUNRISE MOVEMENT VOLUNTEERING TO MAKE CALLS FOR BERNIE SANDERS' 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER JACKSON FIELDER VARIOUS OF VOLUNTEER AND PHONE BANK HOST, SUNNY SAVRON VARIOUS OF VOLUNTEER PEARL CHEN (SOUNDBITE) (English) SUNRISE MOVEMENT, ORGANIZER, BERNIE SANDERS 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER, PEARL CHEN, 23, SAYING: "I'm going to tell you that it (coronavirus) has disrupted quite a bit of our work. We are aâ€¦ we are primarily a grassroots campaign, and a lot of our work does involve doing door to door canvassing and in-person rallies, which, of course, with the rise of the coronavirus we can no longer do. But one giant boon of the Sunrise Movement is that, because we are so young and flexible, we are willing to experiment with new strategies toâ€¦ to build our movement and bring in new supporters. So, what that means for us right now is we are going digital. So, for example, just today we're holding a phone bank, where people areâ€¦ are calling people to ask them if they're going to vote and talk to them about who they're voting for." CHEN SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (English) SUNRISE MOVEMENT, ORGANIZER, BERNIE SANDERS 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER, PEARL CHEN, 23, SAYING: "Actually, one funny thing that we're doing is, we're taking advantage of theâ€¦ of the different dating apps that are available to us. So, oneâ€¦ at one hub in Akron, Ohio, they're actuallyâ€¦ they actually built a Grinder account. And they're using that to canvas. They're using that toâ€¦ to just gather support of different people who are passing through the app, who are also oftentimes young, politically active people. So, we're very creative in our solutions." VARIOUS OF VOLUNTEER ANASTAZIA VANISKO (24) TALKING ON THE PHONE (SOUNDBITE) (English) SUNRISE MOVEMENT, ORGANIZER, BERNIE SANDERS 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER, PEARL CHEN, 23, SAYING: "With the emergence of the coronavirus, we're revealing systemic gaps in our public health infrastructure. What I mean by that is that currently 87 million people in this country are not insured. And that means that, even if they are able to get tested for the virus, they will notâ€¦ they will either not be able to afford the treatment that they require, or they're going to go into major medical debt because of it. And, also, with the virus, we are seeing that we are on the brink of an economic recession. And with nearly half the people in this country living paycheck by paycheck, that's just something that a lot of people aren't going toâ€¦ be able to get people to deal with." CHEN'S HANDS (SOUNDBITE) (English) SUNRISE MOVEMENT, ORGANIZER, BERNIE SANDERS 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER, PEARL CHEN, 23, SAYING: "And one thing that Bernie always asks us, like, I mentioned before, isâ€¦ is he willing toâ€¦ 'Are we all willing to fight for someone that we don't know?' And with that, my answer is a resounding 'yes.' The answer for the people working today to, to promote the Green New Deal, to promote Medicare for all, the answer is 'yes.' We are willing to fight for someone we don't know. And we're hoping that we can get more people to sayâ€¦ to say the same for us." PAN TO THE HOUSE THAT HOSTED PHONE BANK VARIOUS OF BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT FIELD OFFICE SIGN SAYING THAT BIDEN'S CAMPAIGN WAS MOVED ONLINE VARIOUS OF CLEVELAND STREETS
- Keywords: Bernie Sanders COVID-19 Sunrise Movement coronavirus education healthcare presidential campaign 2020 volunteers
- Reuters ID: LVA001C50XZ5Z
- Location: CLEVELAND, OHIO, UNITED STATES
- City: CLEVELAND, OHIO, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:04:59
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Story Text: Sunny Savron opened her doors to fellow organizers from the Sunrise Movement on Saturday (March 14), who came to volunteer to make calls to local residents for the Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign.
Due to the emergence of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, the Cleveland, Ohio, -based group cancelled home calls, large gatherings, and any other face-to-face contact with constituents, and decided to meet in small groups in private homes and make most of their campaign efforts online and over the phone.
"We are willing to experiment with new strategies to build our movement and bring in new supporters," one of the volunteers, Pear Chen, 23, said in an interview with Reuters.
One of those strategies involved a Grindr account, which an Akron, Ohio, - based Sunrise's organizers used to attract young voters.
Both Democratic presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, cancelled their rallies in Cleveland last week due to coronavirus. The campaigns went mostly online, avoiding direct contact with the public, as recommended by doctors, to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Biden for President field office located at the Iron Workers, Union 17, building in Cleveland, closed its doors for volunteers. A note on the door said, "out of abundance of caution and in the interest of public health, the Biden campaign is moving to telework.
Reuters's calls to the campaign for comment went unanswered.
The Democratic race has narrowed to a two-way battle between Biden, the former vice president running as a moderate, and Sanders, a senator from Vermont and a self-described democratic socialist.
Both candidates have criticized U.S. President Trump administration over its response to the outbreak in the United States of coronavirus, which causes a highly contagious and sometimes fatal respiratory illness known as COVID-19.
Their campaigns said they would consult with health officials about future events.
The COVID-19 disease has so far sickened almost 1,000 people in the United States and killed 29, mostly in Washington state.
Coronavirus is revealing stomach gaps in our public health infrastructure, Pearl Chen told Reuters, pointing to 87 million uninsured Americans.
"And one thing that Bernie always asks us, are we all willing to fight for someone that we don't know?," Chen said. "The answer is 'yes.' We are willing to fight for someone we don't know. And we're hoping that we can get more people to sayâ€¦ to say the same for us.
(Production: Aleksandra Michalska & Gershon Peaks)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Embargoed:29th March 2020 00:04
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None