Poverty is a death sentence, says Bernie Sanders

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders tells supporters in McDowell County, West Virginia, that residents of the nation's richest county live an average of 18 years longer than those of its poorest county.

WEST VIRGINIA (REUTERS) - Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders went to West Virginia on Thursday (May 5) and told them that the average life expectancy of residents in the southern part of the state is 18 years shorter than that of residents of Fairfax County, Virginia.

The Democratic challenger told supporters: "Poverty is a death sentence."

West Virginia's unemployment rate of 6.5 per cent in March was well above the national rate of 5 per cent, according to Labor Department data.

Mr Sanders is hoping the state will give him his 19th primary victory over rival Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Mrs Clinton has a large lead over Mr Sanders in delegates for the Democratic nomination, but Mr Sanders is leading Mrs Clinton in West Virginia.

Union leaders there have endorsed both of them. West Virginia's primary is on May 10.