“Donald Trump is not to blame for the Coronavirus but he bears responsibility for the response.”
Those words from former Vice President Joe Biden highlighted an approximately 15-minute presentation from the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate where he criticized Mr. Trump’s handling of the crisis and offered ideas on actions the Executive Branch should take.
Trumps Failure Not to Move Fast on the Coronavirus
After saying “as Americans, we are all in this together and when were are together we are never defeated and we will not be defeated (even by) an unseen enemy,” Biden said that the country and the Administration “need to move and move fast.”
Biden emphasized that the focus should center on “what we should do to save lives and economic stability for the people now and the weeks and months ahead of starting with adopting a sense of real urgency.”
He then launched into pointing out where Mr. Trump has failed to meet the Coronavirus head-on saying “for too long the warning signs were ignored and preparations not made.”
First, he disagreed with the “President saying no one saw this coming,” noting that Intelligence agencies had been pointing out the dangers since January.
Biden pointed out that he (Biden) realized in January that this was coming crisis and called for “draw(ing) on science first, draw (ing) on emergency funds to get response started, and think (ing) about invoking disaster powers to respond.”
The former Vice President cited the example of South Korea; the nation that had its first reported Coronavirus case the same day as the United States. Biden reminded the audience that, unlike the Trump Government, the South Korean leaders acted aggressively on testing and were able to prevent a nationwide lockdown.
Because of the Administration’s slow response:
- “ Not all Americans have access to testing.”
- “The United States Health Care System on brink of collapse. Beds are filling up and supplies are running out.”
- Governors across the country are getting price gouged by manufacturers for medical supplies like masks because Trump has not fully invoked the Defense Protection Act. Biden pointed out that the “Federal Government needs to coordinate with everyone so Governors are not competing with one another” and “the President needs to invoke the Defense Protection Act to direct American Manufacturers to make essential supplies.”
Mr. Biden also pointed out that Trump has erred in his presentations at the daily press briefings commenting:
“These press briefings are about informing the American people not political attacks or bashing the press. They are to inform the American People and give the unvarnished truth…let the medical experts and FEMA take center stage….less talk and more evidence of fast action”
Mr. Biden finished this portion of the address by stating.
“The President says he is a war President…start acting like one… We need to get in motion today what we set in motion weeks ago…I along with every American hope he steps up and gets this right.
Biden offers four solutions for combatting the Coronavirus
The 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate called for “immediate action on testing, research on vaccines, and leading a global response to beat the Coronavirus everywhere.”
After referring viewers to his campaign website to see his plan to combat the Coronavirus in detail, Mr. Biden emphasized four solutions the country should pursue to meet this public health crisis.
- “The President must increase the medical capacity to treat the sickest Coronavirus patients safely.” Biden said he was “glad President has activated the National Guard and their medical infrastructure.” Biden recommended that the President also “activate the reserve core of doctor and nurses.”
- The President must activate the Defense Production Act to “radically” increase the supply of goods and supplies to help patients and protect health care workers like ventilators and face masks. This includes a World War Two style mobilization effort like building the “Arsenal for Democracy” that supplied the Democratic Allies in that effort.
- “The President needs to end the infighting and bickering in the Administration and listen to the scientists and plan for today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow” for the virus and any possible resurgence of it.
- “The President needs to promote the right priorities for America’s proper Economic response. We should do everything possible to keep people on the payroll, keep small businesses strong, and make sure the economy comes out the crisis strong. “ Biden criticized the part of the stimulus plan Trump and McConnell have with a $500 billion “slush fund” for corporations with no oversight or regulations (like stopping stock buybacks or halting the increase executive pay or making sure business leaders use the money to keep people on the payroll.)
The former Vice President then said what his bottom line was: the small mom and pop business like a restaurant should get the funds they need as do major companies but “no blank checks.” These businesses need to assure the people that “they will keep them on the payroll.” Those that are unemployed need to have more “sustainable” benefits be they “gig workers or full-time employees.” “Social Security Checks should be boosted now. People getting money so they can put food on the table now should be sent out now Student Loan Debt should be forgiven for now. Cash relief should go out as fast as possible.”
Biden then praised Republican and Democratic Governors (although he did get the name of the Massachusetts one (Baker, not Parker wrong) for their efforts in meeting the crisis.
He then made a plug about the tenth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the lawsuit the White House and the Republican Led States are pursuing. He sent a letter requesting them to withdraw the lawsuit because people need “peace of mind” rather than worrying if the courts are going to throw away their health insurance.
He then praised the military, health workers, grocery clerk, postal workers, manufacturers, journalists, and government workers working to get the job done and we need to give them the help they need to get the job done.
Biden then finished by calling again for unity saying, “There is not a single thing we can not do if we do it together.”
Despite the fact that Biden’s team needs to do a little work on making sure the teleprompter works during the whole presentation, it was very refreshing to have a person running for President not use this opportunity to:
- Tout the poll numbers of the Department of Veterans Affairs because of (wait fot it) him.
- Discuss miracle drugs that do not exist.
- Stoke racist fears.
- Tell Governors he is doing them a favor by helping them out during this crisis.
- Say he lost money running for President.
- Attack the press for nasty questions and call reporters terrible.
- Express happiness that a political rival (Mitt Romney-the lone Republican that voted for impeachment) had to self-quarantine.
- Deny responsibility for the slow response to the crisis.
Donald Trump has said all the above items in press briefings over the last ten days.
It might be better for Vice President Mike Pence to do the briefings with the scientists from now on. At least he is not always talking about himself when he conducts the briefings. It is amazing Pence and the others have to continually suck up to the President and control their facial expressions when Trump speaks at these events.
There are probably many in the country who feel, after seeing Trump’s daily fiascoes and Biden’s down to Earth presentation, that January 20, 2021, can not come soon enough.
Please click on the video of Biden’s address here.