By JOHN VERHOVEK and MOLLY NAGLE, ABC News
(WILMINGTON, Del.) — In a speech Tuesday afternoon in Wilmington, Delaware, former Vice President Joe Biden will ramp up his attacks on President Donald Trump over what the presumptive Democratic nominee says is the president’s “failure to protect the American people,” from the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden campaign officials say.
According to his campaign, Biden will accuse Trump of “surrendering” to the virus that has already claimed over 125,000 American lives, and argue that Trump’s mismanagement of the crisis is continuing to cost American lives and “wreck our economy.”
Biden’s remarks are set to focus on Trump’s “failure to mobilize an effective response” to the outbreak, which has led to increased economic and public health crises, the campaign said.
The former vice president is also expected to lay out a “timeline of Trump’s inactions and failures,” especially following efforts by the public to abide by social distancing in order to reduce the spread of the virus, according to the campaign.
The speech comes as several states have seen significant upticks in both the number of COVID-19 cases and rates of hospitalization due to the virus.
On Sunday, Arizona saw a record 3,858 new daily COVID-19 cases, and a record 2,691 hospitalizations, and its Republican governor announced on Monday the re-closing of bars, indoor gyms, indoor movie theaters and water parks.
As cases began to surge, Trump defended his administration’s handling of the virus, repeating a strongly criticized statement that slowing down testing would lead to a lower number of cases reported.
“We have the greatest testing program. We’ve developed it over a period of time. And we’re up to almost 30 million tests. That means we’re gonna have more cases,” Trump said during remarks in Wisconsin last week. “If we didn’t want to test, or if we didn’t test, we wouldn’t have cases. But we have cases because we test. Deaths are down. We have one of the lowest mortality rates. We’ve done an incredible, historic job.”
Biden, who offered his strongest indictment yet the president’s handling of the coronavirus crisis last week during a speech in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is expected to outline steps that he believes the president should immediately take to stem the spread of the virus.
“(Trump’s) like a child who can’t believe this has happened to him — all his whining and self pity. This pandemic didn’t happen to him. It happened to all of us. And his job isn’t to whine about it, his job is to do something about it — to lead,” Biden said last Thursday.
Biden has been a strong critic of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic since it took hold of the country in mid-March, when the former vice president laid out his own plan to deal with a crisis that has largely put the country — and presidential campaign — on pause.
“We are going to be dealing with this for a long time,” Biden said in his remarks last week. “Trump can’t wish it away. He can’t bend it to meet his political wishes. There are no miracles coming.”
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