Dear Commons Community,
Joe Biden blasted President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, saying that Trump is “in retreat” with more than 125,000 Americans dead and the virus worsening in many states.
In a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, the former vice president recounted what he cast as Trump’s missteps, from Trump’s early dismissals of the virus to his more recent refusals to wear a mask in public appearances.
Pointing to Trump in March declaring himself a wartime president in battling the coronavirus, Biden said: “What happened? Now it’s almost July, and it seems like our wartime president has surrendered — waved the white flag and left the battlefield.”
Biden’s remarks (see video above) came as recent polls of voters nationally and in key swing states show him with a lead over Trump. Biden’s public appearances in recent months have been limited to small, invite-only crowds.
The 77-year-old former vice president appeared eager to respond to the Trump campaign portraying him as in cognitive decline, a case often made using out-of-context video from Biden’s public appearances. He said he “can hardly wait” to debate the 74-year-old Trump.
Biden also chided Trump for either failing to read or forgetting the contents of the daily briefing delivered to the President. The White House has denied that Trump was “personally briefed” on reports that Russia offered bounties to Taliban fighters to kill US troops in Afghanistan, claiming that the intelligence “wasn’t verified.”
“If he wasn’t briefed, it was a dereliction of duty. And if he was briefed and he didn’t do anything, that’s a dereliction of duty,” Biden said.
And, when asked by a reporter if he has been tested for any sort of cognitive decline, Biden said: “I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against.”
Biden’s speech tied together proposals he has issued in recent months, including calls for a national board to oversee a “massive surge” in coronavirus testing.
It is four months until the presidential election.