Jun 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden calls on Trump to wear a mask, limit rallies amid coronavirus surge

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Laying out his plans to combat the coronavirus during a speech on Tuesday, Joe Biden stared into the camera, addressed President Trump and questioned his fitness to lead the nation: "America needs a president."

The state of play: The former vice president pleaded with Trump to wear a mask, institute a national plan for reopening the country and economy, and unite the American people amid the pandemic.

  • "The crisis is real and it’s surging, Mr. President. America knows that this crisis isn’t behind us, even if you don’t," Biden said.
  • "The American people didn’t make enormous sacrifices over the past four months so you could waste your time with late-night rantings and tweets," he added.

The big picture: Biden used the address in Wilmington, Delaware, with a giant American flag as his backdrop, to explain how he would handle the coronavirus differently than Trump.

  • His coronavirus plan was an updated version of the one he first unveiled in March, but he salted it with criticism of what the president has done since then and focused on the country's rising caseload.
  • He also promised to keep Anthony Fauci in government to help him respond to the crisis.

The other side: The Trump campaign fired back and said Biden "botched" his criticism.

  • "The United States leads the world in coronavirus testing, with more than 22 million tests completed and nearly half a million new tests being conducted per day," the Trump campaign said in an email blast.
  • Reality check: Public health experts have argued that the country needs to reach 900,000 tests per day in order to reach targets necessary to begin containing the virus.
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