With the November presidential election less than two months away, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Saturday hosted a virtual town hall spotlighting the economic and public health struggles facing residents of the crucial battleground state of Michigan, where more than 120,000 people have tested positive for Covid-19 nearly 7,000 have been killed by the virus.
Joining Sanders at the event was progressive Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), American Federation of Teachers Michigan president David Hecker, Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, former United Auto Workers president Bob King, and other local leaders.
"Together, we are going to defeat the most dangerous president in our modern history," Sanders tweeted ahead of the event.
Watch the town hall:
The Michigan event comes as the Vermont senator is reportedly pushing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to focus more heavily on key issues like healthcare and economic security as tens of millions of Americans remain jobless, hungry, and at risk of losing their homes due to the pandemic and continued inaction from congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump.
Citing three unnamed people with knowledge of the conversations, the Washington Post reported Saturday that Sanders "has told associates that Biden is at serious risk of coming up short in the November election if he continues his vaguer, more centrist approach."
"The senator has identified several specific changes he'd like to see," the Post reported, "saying Biden should talk more about healthcare and about his economic plans, and should campaign more with figures popular among young liberals, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)."
Faiz Shakir, who managed Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign, told the Post in a statement that the senator is "confident that Joe Biden is in a very strong position to win this election, but nevertheless feels there are areas the campaign can continue to improve upon."
"He has been in direct contact with the Biden team," said Shakir, "and has urged them to put more emphasis on how they will raise wages, create millions of good-paying jobs, lower the cost of prescription drugs, and expand healthcare coverage."
Shakir added that Sanders also believes "a stronger outreach to young people, the Latino community, and the progressive movement will be of real help to the campaign."