Joe Biden Says President Trump Exercises ‘No Leadership’ On Coronavirus Response While Campaigning In Delaware County – CBS Kitchener
DARBY, PA (CBS / AP) – Joe Biden, the alleged Democratic presidential candidate, met President Donald Trump during his election campaign in Delaware County on Wednesday. Biden urged Trump to “wake up” to the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic in a comment Wednesday that served as scathing criticism of the country’s president’s leadership during the economic reopening under the virus.
“Donald Trump wants to make a name for himself as a war president. Unlike any other leader in wartime, he takes no responsibility, he does not exercise leadership, now he has simply given up the fight, “said Biden on Wednesday at a leisure center in Darby.
I’m in Darby, Pennsylvania to discuss how we can ensure that reopening the country is safe, effective, and getting Americans back to work. Turn on: https://t.co/VaCPc32w9A
– Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 17, 2020
At times, Biden slammed his podium to add emphasis, accusing the president of declaring the pandemic over, even though it continues to kill Americans and devastate the economy.
“Mr. President, do not leave the American people to face this threat alone, without guidance, resources, or guidance from the federal government,” said Biden.
He added, “Don’t waste any more time.”
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While Biden has spent most of the last month escalating his criticism of Trump on everything from his reaction to George Floyd’s murder by the police to his handling of the economy, the 15-minute speech was on Wednesday his sharpest comment yet on the president’s handling of the virus outbreak.
The alleged Democratic presidential candidate attacked Trump over the high US death toll, accusing the economy of “still stuttering”. With “no clear guidance” from the federal government on how businesses should respond, Biden warned that the economic outlook could deteriorate.
“We may lose some of the progress we’ve made because he’s lost interest,” said Biden.
The previous Wednesday, Biden met a handful of small business owners for a socially distant listening session at a soul food restaurant and bar in the suburbs of Kitchener to learn how the coronavirus pandemic has affected their businesses.
The local business owners sat at outdoor tables 6 feet apart and expressed concern about the lack of guidance from the federal government on how to reopen.
Scott Richardson, the owner of Occasionally Yours Cafe and catering company in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, said he had reduced his workforce from 12 to four in the midst of the pandemic. He told Biden that he voted for Trump in 2016, but now the president is more interested in day trading than long-term planning to fight the coronavirus.
Biden told the group in a note on future remarks that “nobody” in the Trump administration “takes responsibility” during the outbreak.
Last week, Biden was in Kitchener to unveil a multi-faceted plan to gradually reopen the economy and increase growth without exposing entrepreneurs or consumers to unnecessary risk. The former vice president pledged to guarantee, if he was elected, that the virus and protective equipment would be tested to prevent the spread of those recalled to work.
He also plans to use federal funds to provide paid vacation to anyone who falls ill or cares for those who do so and to create a national contact tracing workforce or “job corps” of at least 100,000 to those who test positive track down their contacts and quarantine them.
Biden also proposed a “Safe Shopper” program to help returning consumers get sick less. His campaign didn’t say how much it would all cost, however, and Biden himself even made a joking reference to being a “high-spending Democrat”. But he countered: “If we don’t do that, we will get into deep, deep, deeper economic difficulties.”
The former vice president said Trump had repeatedly prioritized the economy and financial market prestige over the health of the country, saying, “Trump basically had a one-point plan: open businesses.”
Joe Biden Publishes 8 Point Plan to Safely Reopen Business During Visit to West Kitchener
Trump’s re-election campaign argues that the Republican president issued “science-based” guidelines to help boost the economy weeks ahead of Biden.
Since more than two months of home-only virtual campaigns ended amid the Memorial Day pandemic, Biden has attended gatherings with small crowds several times a week. However, he’s never far from home except when he went to Houston to meet with the family of George Floyd – whose death in police custody in Minnesota sparked weeks of protests against racial inequalities across the country.
Still, Pennsylvania is important because extremely narrow victories in the state, Michigan and Wisconsin won the White House for Trump in 2016.
Biden’s campaign has pledged to resume a normal campaign plan that will take him around the country, but not until authorities and health officials deem it safe. Trump will be in Tulsa, Oklahoma for his first major campaign event in months on Saturday – although he doesn’t answer questions from voters at such events.
Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the president’s re-election campaign, criticized Biden for preferring to “camp in the comfort of his basement” rather than “traveling around the country to meet voters and stand up for his candidacy.”
“These events were either tightly controlled or covered by the press in a pool arrangement,” wrote Murtaugh of the former Vice President’s recent stopovers. “When is Biden going to take the test American voters deserve when considering the next President of the United States?”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)