Joe Biden is taking aim at Donald Trump for his response to the coronavirus, saying that the president is now trying to “rewrite history” after a failed response that for weeks downplayed the severity of the crisis.
The former vice president appears to have shifted to a general election campaign after building a large and nearly insurmountable lead against Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, and on Saturday, he blasted Trump for his handling of the COVID-19 outbreak. As Newsweek noted, the Biden campaign accused Trump of trying to “rewrite history and mislead Americans about his response to this crisis.”
For the first several weeks after the first case appeared in the U.S., Trump made statements downplaying the virus outbreak and predicting that cases in the U.S. would soon go down to zero. The virus has only spread since then, with cases growing exponentially and hospital systems starting to buckle under the pressure of a large number of patients. There were more than 24,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. as of Sunday afternoon, with the number growing rapidly as more testing is conducted.
Biden said that Trump’s leadership in responding to the crisis has fallen well short of the mark.
“In a moment of crisis like this, Americans need strong, steadfast leadership, and a President who [levels] with the American people about the challenges we face and the path forward,” said Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director.
“But instead of taking charge and taking responsibility. Trump has passed the buck and failed to lead, making us more vulnerable at a precarious moment when we most need a President who will be honest with the American people and focus on actual results.”
Biden has been taking a more aggressive stance in both going after Trump and attempting to draw a contrast with the president’s leadership. The vice president last week gave an address on the coronavirus outbreak outlining the proper steps to address it.
As CNN noted, Biden also said last week that he would start more regular communications starting on Monday. Biden added that he has been working closely with political, medical, and economic advisers daily to go through detailed plans of how the federal government should be responding to the crisis.
The former vice president is not the only one who has criticized Trump for his change in tone regarding the coronavirus. Many political pundits have noted that Trump spent weeks downplaying the spread of the virus when instead he should have been mobilizing the federal government to prepare for the strain that the medical system would be facing as the number of confirmed cases continued to grow exponentially.