Jun 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden campaign to zero in on COVID inflection points in coming week

Joe Biden

Biden met with families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act and made remarks on his plan for affordable health care, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, June 25. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

The Biden campaign plans to focus its messages this week on "the difference between what Joe Biden called for and what Donald Trump did at crucial inflection points" since the pandemic arrived in America, according to a Biden adviser.

What we're hearing: Expect the Biden campaign to use footage of Trump golfing, holding rallies, complaining about being mistreated by the media and saying he wanted testing slowed down.

  • Plus they'll hammer Trump for continuing his assault on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during this health crisis — noting that if the Supreme Court invalidates the law as the administration is seeking, it could strip 23 million Americans' health care and eliminate coverage for preexisting conditions amid a pandemic.
  • Biden's deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said that Trump's "streak of failure to protect or even prioritize American lives and jobs is one of the most catastrophic mistakes made by any commander in chief in modern history."
  • "And the entire time," she said, "Joe Biden has laid out a better course — sounding the alarm early, telling President Trump not to trust the Chinese government about containment, and releasing a comprehensive national testing strategy months ago."

Trump campaign response: "President Trump has been leading the nation through the global coronavirus crisis while all Joe Biden has done is try to turn it into a political weapon from his basement in Delaware," responded Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh.

  • "If Biden had truly been warning everyone about the virus since January, why was he campaigning normally into the second week of March?" he said. (In late January, Biden wrote an op-ed sounding the alarm about Trump's early handling of the coronavirus.)
  • "When the President restricted travel from China in January, Biden called it 'xenophobic' and 'fear-mongering,'" Murtaugh added.
  • He said that "all Biden knows about handling a crisis is that he can't. ... During the swine flu outbreak when Biden was vice president, the White House had to apologize for his reckless remarks so they didn't cause 'undue panic.'"
Go deeper