As Hillary Clinton endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden during a virtual town hall on Tuesday, she shared her belief that the coronavirus pandemic “would be a terrible crisis to waste” in the greater goal of establishing “universal health care,” Breitbart reported.
According to Breitbart, Clinton might have been referring to a 2008 statement by Rahm Emanuel, the incoming chief of staff to then-President Barack Obama.
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” he told the Wall Street Journal at the time, according to Breitbart.
Biden appears to agree
Biden, for his part, can be seen in the video nodding during Clinton’s remarks, apparently agreeing with the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee’s call to use the virus as a way to advance her vision of a more expansive government health care system.
The former vice president has previously argued against universal health care programs promoted by some rivals, making the case for a framework that would allow anyone under 65 — an age he subsequently revised down to 60 — the option to buy into Medicare.
Other nations serve as examples
Though some leading Democrats believe a single-payer system would help the U.S. in its fight against the coronavirus, many European countries with government-operated health care experienced their own spike in cases and related deaths.
In Italy, for example, hospitals ran out of ventilators amid an influx of infected patients, CBS News reported. Moreover, research shows that the United Kingdom is one of several European countries with a coronavirus-related death rate higher than the U.S., according to Business Insider.
On the other side of the spectrum from Clinton, many conservatives continue to make the case for a system that provides help to those who cannot afford health care while making the private market as competitive as possible for everyone else.
Using the crisis to their advantage
Echoing Clinton, elected Democratic officials have previously cited the ongoing pandemic as justification for passing pet projects and programs.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has repeatedly made her priorities clear in efforts to push through multiple coronavirus relief bills. “There are infrastructure needs that our country has that directly relate to how we are proceeding with the coronavirus,” she said last month, according to The Washington Times.
Conservatives have also raised concerns that Democrats are plotting to use the virus to restrict freedoms, including gun rights and church attendance, as The Hill notes.
A new plan by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to reopen the state keeps churches closed for several more months, the Daily Wire reports, because, apparently, the Democrat believes they are not essential.