May 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden: Trump's coronavirus reopening plan offers a "false choice"

Photo courtesy Biden for President

Joe Biden called President Trump's plans to reopen the economy a "false choice that none of us should fall for" designed to stoke partisan tensions to deflect from his administration's public-health failings in a Washington Post op-ed.

What he's saying: "If we're going to have thriving workplaces, restaurants, stores and parks, we need widespread testing. Trump can’t seem to provide it — to say nothing of worker safety protocols, consistent health guidelines or clear federal leadership to coordinate a responsible reopening," the former vice president wrote.

  • "Instead of unifying the country to accelerate our public health response and get economic relief to those who need it, President Trump is reverting to a familiar strategy of deflecting blame and dividing Americans."
  • "His goal is as obvious as it is craven: He hopes to split the country into dueling camps, casting Democrats as doomsayers hoping to keep America grounded and Republicans as freedom fighters trying to liberate the economy."

Biden focused on the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying the president's March statement that "anybody that wants a test can get a test" was a "baldfaced lie."

  • "The administration is fully aware that this is the right path, too — after all, the president and his staff are now reportedly receiving daily tests. They knew exactly how to make the Oval Office safe and operational, and they put in the work to do it."
  • "They just haven’t put in that same work for the rest of us."
  • The White House has been rattled in the last week by positive coronavirus tests for Trump's personal valet and Vice President Pence's press secretary, Katie Miller, who is married to top Trump adviser Stephen Miller.

Go deeper: 10 times Trump and his administration were warned about coronavirus

Go deeper

Cities' budget woes worsen with increased social unrest

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Cities were already furloughing workers and considering cutting back essential services — including public safety — because of the dramatic drops in the local tax revenue that funds them. Now they're also dealing with turmoil in their streets.

Why it matters: "Unfortunately, the increasing levels of social unrest across the country reallocated efforts and scarce resources away from the former focus of getting state, regional and local economies back to some semblance of normalcy," per Tom Kozlik, head of municipal strategy and credit at HilltopSecurities.

22 hours ago - Health

Where the CDC went wrong with its coronavirus response

Photo: Tami Chappell/AFP/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mishandled the coronavirus pandemic, sowing mistrust among health experts and the public, according to a sweeping report by the New York Times.

Why it matters: It's been reported that a faster and more organized response from the federal government could have saved thousands of lives.

11 hours ago - Health

HHS requests data on race and ethnicity with coronavirus test results

A nurse writes a note as a team of doctors and nurses performs a procedure on a coronavirus patient in the Regional Medical Center on May 21 in San Jose, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Department of Health and Human Services moved on Thursday to require that an individual's race, ethnicity, age and sex be submitted to the agency with novel coronavirus test results.

Why it matters: Some cities and states have reported the virus is killing black people at disproportionately high rates. There are gaps in the national picture of how many people of color are affected, since the data has not been a requirement for states to collect or disclose.