Former vice president Joe Biden, currently leading in the race to become the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nominee, delivered a series of rhetorical punches toward President Donald Trump for his failures so far with regard to the coronavirus crisis currently gripping the country.
Biden, speaking from his Delaware home on Monday, delivered a video message to supporters, deriding the president several times within it.
“The president says no one saw this coming,” Biden said, citing Trump’s own words about the pandemic. “Well, that’s just not accurate. The mindset that was slow to recognize the problem in the first place…is still too much of how the president is addressing the problem.”
Even though Trump said he and other world leaders were blindsided by the pandemic, he also claimed to have always known that coronavirus was a pandemic (a statement that is inaccurate, given the definition of the word itself).
Biden also denounced Trump’s decision not to invoke the Defense Production Act, which would give the executive branch the authority to demand private manufacturing companies amp up efforts, including shifting production lines, to address equipment shortages for the crisis.
President Trump and Mitch McConnell are trying to put a corporate bailout ahead of families. It's simply wrong. We need to be focused on helping hardworking Americans, communities, and small businesses — not handing big corporations a blank check. pic.twitter.com/tMBZm26h3y
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) March 23, 2020
“Trump keeps saying he is a wartime president — well, start to act like one,” Biden said directly to Trump. “Donald Trump is not to blame for the coronavirus but he does bear responsibility for our response.”
The former vice president also took great pains to explain why Democrats opposed a Republican-sponsored bill in the Senate last night, noting that the proposal to address the economic fallout from COVID-19 were too corporate-centric and didn’t do enough to help everyday people.
“President Trump and Mitch McConnell are trying to put a corporate bailout ahead of millions of families,” Biden said. The proposal, he added, was a half a trillion-dollar economic “slush fund for corporations, with almost no conditions.”
Biden’s comments come after several days of Democratic demands for him to speak out about the current crisis, as Trump has had a near-monopoly of television airtime in daily press conferences on the subject. Biden said that this would be the first of many statements he’d be making on coronavirus, and what is best for the United States to do during the present crisis.