During a virtual campaign event on Thursday, the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden slammed President Donald Trump over his response to the coronavirus pandemic, The Hill reported.
“Until this president faces what’s going on in this country, the economy will remain at risk,” Biden said, noting that the United States reported more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases earlier in the day.
Biden said that Trump has “bungled” the federal government’s response to the pandemic, pointing out that the president appears to have shifted focus to his reelection campaign, holding rallies and speeches, while refusing to wear a mask.
“Donald Trump’s just given up. He’s not even trying to secure our public health anymore,” Biden said.
“He’s decided he has more to gain by dividing this country.”
The former vice president then urged Trump to lead the country.
“Quit ignoring the reality of this pandemic and the horrifying loss of American life. Act. Lead. Lead, or get out of the way so others can, Mr. President.”
During the virtual event, Biden also discussed the latest jobs report. According to data from the Labor Department, the U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in the month of June, with the unemployment rate dropping to 11.1 percent. Trump touted the improved unemployment numbers, with his campaign saying that the president is “leading the Great American Comeback!”
In an interview with Fox Business, the commander-in-chief argued that the nation’s economy is headed toward a V-shaped recovery. He also defended his actions amid the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that the virus will simply “disappear” at some point.
Biden said that he is “thankful” for the good news, but noted that millions of Americans remain unemployed.
“There’s no victory to be celebrated when we’re still down nearly 15 million jobs and the pandemic is getting worse, not better.”
As reported by The Financial Times, global stock markets climbed following the strong jobs report, but concerns remain. Several states have had to halt their economic reopenings and there are fears that a second wave of coronavirus infections could result in more job losses.
For Trump, the recovery of the economy could be key to winning reelection. According to the June CNBC All-America Economic Survey, American voters trust Biden more than Trump on all issues but the economy.
Still, polling suggests that Biden is a strong favorite to win the November election. A Monmouth University poll released on Thursday put the Democrat 12 percentage points ahead of Trump nationwide.