Mar 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden to Trump: "Stop talking and start listening to the medical experts"

2020 Democratic front-runner Joe Biden harshly criticized President Trump's suggestion on Tuesday that social distancing restrictions should be lifted by Easter, saying on CNN that the president should "stop talking and start listening to the medical experts."

Why it matters: Trump has been warned by his close advisers that the economy can’t sustain a shutdown for much longer, and he's weighing lifting restrictions in certain zip codes after the expiration of the White House's "15 Days to Slow the Spread" initiative. Health experts warn that this could lead to a drastic increase in coronavirus cases.

What he's saying:

"You talk about having an economic crisis. You want an economic crisis, watch this spike, watch the number of dead go up, watch the number of people who in fact connect with this virus. When are you going to be able to open the economy? Look, we all want the economy to open as rapidly as possible.
The way to do that is let's take care of the medical side of this immediately. One of the things — he's not responsible for the coronavirus, but he's responsible for the delay in taking the actions that need to be taken, as far back as January."
— Joe Biden

The big picture: Biden, who has built a near-insurmountable delegate lead in the Democratic primary over Sen. Bernie Sanders, told CNN that as president he would have invoked the Defense Production Act "a long time ago" to compel companies to start producing desperately needed medical equipment.

  • "What is [Trump] waiting for," Biden said. "He says he's a wartime president. Well act like one. Move. Fast."

Go deeper: Cuomo pleads with federal government to supply New York with ventilators

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