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Biden slams president on coronavirus response: 'Donald Trump failed us'

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Joe Biden on Tuesday criticized President Trump for his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying that “it seems like our wartime president has surrendered.”

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: Despite the administration's propaganda that their response should be a cause for celebration, despite President Trump's request that we should slow down testing because he thinks it makes him look bad, the COVID-19 is still here, and the daily threat to the American health and prosperity is continuing.

It didn't have to be this way. Month after month, as other leaders and other countries took the necessary steps to get the virus under control, Donald Trump failed us. Month after month, as many of us urged him to step up and do his job, he failed us.

Just look at the record. In January, I, along with others, sounded the alarm over the coronavirus outbreak. Trump told the country that COVID-19 is, quote, "totally under control" and that everything will, quote, "work out well."

In February, I warned about the failure to get information that we needed from the Chinese government. What I said was the president should demand Xi produce the evidence, demanded. Trump said, quote, "we're in great shape." Reported China's president said it was, quote, "doing very well."

In March, I set forth a detailed plan for 500 federally funded testing sites across the country as well as guaranteed emergency paid leave. Later that month, I called for a full and immediate use of the Defense Production Act, critical for the delivery of supplies that--

--health-care workers, help us to respond. He accused health-care workers of stealing the masks. That's what he said. Health workers are stealing the masks. That's why we don't have them.

In April, I released a plan to secure the supply chain for personal protective equipment, surge nationwide testing with a-- through a pandemic testing board, and launch a nationwide health corps to focus on contact tracing. Trump suggestions? Americans should inject disinfectants into their bodies.

In May, I condemned the false choice between preserving public health and our economy. I urged the administration to focus on the basic public-health measures like testing to label us to sustain our economic recovery. Trump's response? He pushed for reopening without regard to safety and called testing, quote, "frankly, overrated."

This month, I outlined a path to reopen our country safely and sustainably. It provided workers, small businesses, schools, state and local governments the tools, resources, and guidance that they would need. Trump's proposal? He set a cut-off date for federal funding of testing sites in several states and actually went to court to take away health-care for 22 million people by trying to get rid of Obamacare.

And now Donald Trump is in retreat. Remember, back in March when I called-- and he called-- we talked about the need to act like we were at war with the virus. He called himself a wartime president. Remember when he exhorted the nation to sacrifice together and, quote, "in the face of this inevitable and invisible enemy"?

What happened? Now it's almost July, and it seems like our wartime president has surrendered, waved the white flag, and left the battlefield.