Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the Democratic nominee for president on Monday, adding the weight of his left-wing support to Mr. Biden’s candidacy and taking a major step toward bringing unity to the party’s effort to unseat President Trump in November. The decision by Mr. Sanders to back his former rival is an unmistakable signal to his supporters — who are known for their intense loyalty — that they should do so as well, at a moment when Mr. Biden still faces deep skepticism from many younger progressive voters. In a surprise joint appearance over live-streamed video, the two men revealed a rapprochement forged amid extraordinary circumstances just five days after Mr. Sanders withdrew, a sign of how profoundly the coronavirus pandemic has changed the race. The uncertainty caused by the virus, the vast damage to the American economy and the fervent desire to deprive Mr. Trump of a second term prompted an earlier-than-expected alliance between two ideological rivals, aimed at bringing together disparate factions of the party.
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