Joe Biden is slamming Trump for a deadly “dereliction of duty,” following the release of taped conversations between the president and the journalist Bob Woodward in which Trump revealed he knew, in early February, that the coronavirus was airborne and much deadlier than the flu, and confessed on March 19th that he’d intentionally misled the country on the pandemic: “I wanted to always play it down,” Trump said. “I still like playing it down.”
At a campaign stop in Michigan, Biden pulled no punches. “He had the information,” Biden said of Trump. “He knew how dangerous it was. And while this deadly disease ripped through our nation. He failed to do his job — on purpose. It was a life and death betrayal of the American people.”
Biden highlighted the tens of thousands of deaths that could have been avoided if Trump had taken decisive action, instead of “knowingly and willingly” lying. “It was a life and death betrayal of the American people,” Biden said. The Democrat also highlighted the devastating blow to the economy “created by Donald Trump’s negligence.”
Highlighting the struggles of jobless workers, of students still out of schools, and of front line health professionals still laboring, without respite, eight months into this crisis, Biden slammed the president’s failure of leadership as “beyond despicable… a disgrace.”
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Watch Biden’s comments, and read a full transcript of his remarks, below:
On the day that we hit 190,000 dead in the United States because of Covid-19, we just learned from the Washington Post columnist Bob Woodward that the president of the United States admitted, on tape, in February he knew about Covid-19. That it passed through the air. He knew how deadly it was. It was much more deadly than the flu. He knew and purposely played it down.
Worse, he lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country, for months. He had the information. He knew how dangerous it was, and while this deadly disease ripped through our nation, he failed to do his job — on purpose. It was a life and death betrayal of the American people. Experts say that if he had acted just just one week sooner, 36,000 people would have been saved. If he acted two weeks sooner, back in March, 54,000 lives would have been spared, in March and April alone.
You know, his failure has not only costs lives, it has sent our economy into a tailspin. It cost millions more in American livelihoods. This is a recession created by Donald Trump’s negligence. And he is unfit for this job as a consequence of it.
How many schools aren’t open right now? How many kids are starting a new school year the same way they ended the last one — at home. How many parents feel abandoned and overwhelmed? How many frontline workers are exhausted and pushed to the limits? And how many families are missing loved ones at their dinner table tonight because of his failures?
It’s beyond despicable. It’s a dereliction of duty. It’s a disgrace.
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