“The Words of a President Matter.” Biden Says We Can’t Heal COVID-19 Without Healing the Country First

In a major speech Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden described his plans to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, slammed President Donald Trump’s response to the crisis, and once again modeled a vision of competent, compassionate leadership that forms the foundation of his Presidential campaign. Biden positioned the pandemic as the kind of threat that can only be addressed by a united effort, and argued that Trump’s divisiveness made him incapable of handling the crisis.

He started off with a searing recounting of all the times he had sounded the alarm about COVID-19, and all the times Trump ignored the threat of the virus. He made some news by announcing that his campaign was assembling a list of Black women for SCOTUS picks. He also called Trump’s response to the Russian bounty intelligence a “dereliction of duty,” and explained that he supported the removal of Confederate monuments but not memorials to American Presidents like Washington or Jefferson.

Over and over, he returned to the central theme of his campaign: American unity, and the President’s unique ability to create or destroy it.

“It seems like our wartime president has surrendered, waived the white flag and left the battlefield,” said Biden, speaking in a Wilmington, Delaware high school in front of a massive American flag. “Today, we’re facing a serious threat, and we must meet it as one country. But the President gives no direction, and he pits us against one another. We can’t continue like this: half recovering, half getting worse. We can’t continue half wearing masks and half rejecting scientists. We can’t continue half with a plan, and half just hoping for the best.”

His campaign circulated details of his plan for addressing the pandemic, building off the plan he released in March.

First, testing: Biden’s plan includes a massive testing surge to guarantee regular and free testing, doubling the number of testing sites to eliminate lines entirely, and hiring 100,000 Americans for a contact tracing workforce. Second, protecting medical workers: the Biden campaign is promising to fully utilize the Defense Production Act to surge production of PPE, boosting pay for medical workers putting their lives at risk to fight the virus, and offering paid family leave for anyone sick with COVID-19 or caring for a sick loved one. “The steps you’ve taken so far haven’t gotten the job done, Mr. President,” said Biden. “Fix the shortage of PPE for our healthcare workers before you tee off another round of golf.”

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Third, accelerating treatment and vaccines: Biden vowed to restore the U.S.’s good relationship with the World Health Organization, ramp up large-scale testing of possible vaccines, and establish an Emerging Infectious Disease Clinical Trial Network to bring the best scientific brains together to find a cure. “We should be leading a coordinated global approach on the science, not disregarding experts while pushing dangerous and disproven drugs as if they’re treatments.”

Fourth, safe reopening: Biden proposes creating a firm set of rules for employers to keep workers safe, support small businesses …read more

Source:: Time – Politics

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