Bernie Sanders Says U.S. Must Pay Every American Household $2,000 Per Month Until Coronavirus Pandemic Ends

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders replaced his post-primary speech Tuesday with an address to Americans about his economic proposals to combat the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. and assist those who are affected by the virus.

Sanders' comments came as voters in three states—Florida, Illinois and Arizona—went to the polls to cast their ballots. Ohio, which had originally been expected to hold its primaries today, closed its polling places due to the potential spread of coronavirus.

Among Sanders' proposals was a monthly payment of $2,000 for as long as the coronavirus crisis lasts.

"We need to provide a direct emergency $2,000 cash payment to every household in America every month for the duration of the crisis to provide them with the assistance they need to pay their bills and take care of their families," Sanders said.

Sanders also put an approximate price tag on his proposals of "at least $2 trillion dollars."

"In this unprecedented moment," Sanders said, "this will require an unprecedented amount of money and my own guess is that we will be spending at least $2 trillion dollars in funding to prevent deaths, job losses and to avoid an economic catastrophe."

Newsweek reached out to the Sanders campaign for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

bernie sanders
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders outlined his coronavirus emergency financial package proposals during a speech Tuesday. Getty

Proposals against price gouging were also suggested by Sanders, including the creation of a new agency whose purpose would be to prevent the practice from occurring.

"We must make certain that this health and economic crisis is not another moneymaking opportunity for corporate America and for Wall Street," Sanders said. "We need to establish an oversight agency to ensure that no one is profiting off of the economic pain and suffering of our people in the midst of this crisis."

Further, any company that receives emergency financial aid such as a bailout during the coronavirus pandemic must "not lay off workers, pays workers a livable wage and does not rip off consumers."

"We need to prevent price gouging by pharmaceutical companies. As soon as a coronavirus vaccine is developed, it must be sold for free. This is not some opportunity for some drug companies to make a fortune by charging an outrageous price for the medicine that people need in order to stay alive," Sanders said.

"This is not the time for profiteering or price gouging," Sanders added.

Sanders is expected to post his list of proposals online Wednesday and has invited the public to weigh in.

"We need to know what you are experiencing right now," Sanders said. "It's hard to write proper legislation if we are not familiar with the kinds of pain and problems that people all across this country are facing."

Sanders has been critical of the White House's response to the coronavirus pandemic, claiming President Donald Trump has been "confusing the general public" with his statements about the virus.

"First thing we have got to do, whether or not I'm president, is to shut this president up right now because he is undermining the doctors and the scientists who are trying to help the American people," Sanders said at Sunday's Democratic debate in Washington. "It is unacceptable for him to be blabbering with un-factual information which is confusing the general public."