But with coronavirus cases increasing across the country and several states canceling their reopening plans, Biden’s most effective lines against Trump were his critics of the president’s response to a pandemic that claimed the lives of more than 125,000 Americans since February.
Biden’s remarks also came as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration’s main voice on the virus, warned on Tuesday that the United States could exceed 100,000 cases a day.
“All the steps you’ve taken so far haven’t got the job done, Mr. Chair,” said Biden of Trump, who still insists that the recent increase in the number of cases is due to broader tests and not a resurgence of the virus. himself.
“Do you remember in March when he called himself war president?” Biden said in his remarks. “Remember when he urged the nation to” sacrifice together “to face an” invisible enemy “? What happened? Now it’s almost July, and it looks like the War President has surrendered – waved the white flag and left the battlefield. ”
“Today we face a serious threat, and we have to face it – as a country. But this president gives us no direction. It pits us against each other, “said Biden.
Biden used the speech to outline his own five-point plan to fight the pandemic, one of the many contrasts he has drawn between Trump and himself.
The former vice president said he would provide free coronavirus tests nationwide, deploy 100,000 contact tracers, set national standards for reopening, use defense production law to further increase manufacturing protective equipment and would provide additional federal support to seniors and people of color, who have been particularly affected by the virus.
Months of lockouts that paralyzed the US economy, said Biden, “were meant to give us time to get together. But instead of using this time to prepare – Donald Trump wasted it. ”
“The American people haven’t made huge sacrifices in the past four months, so you can waste your time with rants and tweets late at night,” said the former vice president, speaking to Trump. “They did not make these sacrifices so that you could ignore the science and turn responsible measures like wearing a mask into a political statement. ”
“You call yourself a” cheerleader “for the nation. We don’t need a cheerleader. We need a president, “said Biden.
Biden also answered questions from the press for the first time in more than two months. In doing so, he deprived Trump’s rival campaign of a consistent attack point that they used against him, namely that he has so far avoided being scrutinized in the running by avoiding the press. .
For Biden, the address embodied the most powerful argument in his campaign against Trump behind the back of a presidential race that has so far been defined by Trump’s failure to stem the tide of coronavirus.
This is a major factor in Biden’s strong lead over Trump in the national polls currently close to 10 points, according to the average of Real Clear Politics polls.
Biden rejected his lead, saying, “I know the survey data is very good, but I think it is very early. It is far too early to pass judgment. I think we still have a lot of work to do. ”
Biden also confirmed that he would not organize campaign rallies, saying, “I will follow the doctor’s orders, not just for myself, but for the country. And that means that I will not organize rallies … as soon as I finish, I put my mask back on. ”
The comments provided another contrast between Biden’s plans for the next few months and the president’s re-election campaign, which told reporters on Tuesday that Trump looks forward to future election rallies.
When asked about plans for future rallies, the Trump campaign refused to announce the dates or locations of upcoming rallies, however.