Biden, Sanders challenge Trump on coronavirus

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) VERMONT SENATOR, BERNIE SANDERS SAYING:

"We have a major, major crisis."

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) FORMER VICE-PRESIDENT, JOE BIDEN, SAYING:

"I'm releasing a plan to combat and overcome the coronavirus."

Democratic candidates vying to be the nominee to take on President Trump, on Thursday gave Americans an alternative vision on leadership for the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Vice President Joe Biden spelled out his plan to combat the spread of the disease.

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) FORMER VICE-PRESIDENT, JOE BIDEN, SAYING:

"This virus laid bare the severe shortcomings of the current administration. Public affairs are being compounded the pervasive lack of trust in this President. Fueled by adversary relationships with the truth that he continues to have."

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders likewise focused on the cost of testing and treatment, and providing assistance to families and workers instead of tax cuts, as Trump recommended."

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) VERMONT SENATOR, BERNIE SANDERS SAYING:

"We need to worry about those who are already sick. We need to worry about working families with children. Our country is at a severe disadvantage compared to every other major country on earth. Because we do not guarantee healthcare to all people as a right."

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP ON MARCH 11, SAYING:

"We are all in this together..."

In a rare oval office address late Wednesday, Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel to the United States from continental Europe and promised economic stimulus measures, vowing to contain the pandemic.

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP ON MARCH 11, SAYING:

"We will significantly impede the transmission of the virus. The virus will not stand a chance against us. No nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States."

Both candidates argued the president’s response was inadequate.

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) VERMONT SENATOR, BERNIE SANDERS SAYING:

"...and who's incompetence and recklessness have threatened the lives of many, many people in our country."

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) FORMER VICE-PRESIDENT, JOE BIDEN, SAYING:

"...downplaying it, being overly dismissive, or spreading misinformation is only going to hurt us and further advantage the spread of the disease."

Biden, Sanders and Trump have all canceled campaign events in recent days after warnings from public health officials about holding large-scale gatherings, though Biden and Sanders will face each other in a televised debate Sunday with no live audience.