Tuesday, 22 September 2020

'Trump panicked. This virus was too big for him': Joe Biden strikes out at president as COVID death toll nears 200,000, saying his 'lies and incompetence' resulted in 'one of the greatest losses of life in American history'

 Joe Biden blamed President Donald Trump's 'lies and incompetence' for the death toll in the coronavirus pandemic, not mincing words as the U.S. death toll approached 200,000.

The Democratic nominee used a campaign stop in Wisconsin to tout his blue-collar credentials and portray Trump as not caring about his supporters who risk contracting COVID to attend his campaign rallies.

'Due to Donald Trump's lies and incompetence, the past six months have seen the one of the greatest losses of life in American history,' he said during his remarks in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Biden attacks Trump's 'lies and incompetence' on COVID pandemic
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Joe Biden blamed President Donald Trump's 'lies and incompetence' for the death toll in the coronavirus pandemic

Joe Biden blamed President Donald Trump's 'lies and incompetence' for the death toll in the coronavirus pandemic

President Donald Trump has blamed China, where the virus was first detected, for letting it spread to other countries around the world

President Donald Trump has blamed China, where the virus was first detected, for letting it spread to other countries around the world

Biden made his most direct appeal to date to the blue collar workers who could decide the election and he directly address Republicans who voted for Trump by  may be dissatisfied with their choice, appealing to their patriotism.

'I want to spend just a few moments talking to those who voted for Donald Trump last time. I know many of you were frustrated. Angry. You believed you weren't being seen or respected or heard. I get it. It has to change. And I promise you this: It will change with me. You will be seen and heard and respected by me,' Biden said. 

'I'm going to fight as hard for those who supported me as those who did not support me,' he said. 'This is not a partisan moment for god's sake. This has to be an American moment.' 

Monday marked his second trip to Wisconsin as the Democratic nominee. He visited Kenosha earlier in the month. 

But he started his remarks focused on the pandemic and attacked the president for holding campaign rallies where attendees did not social distance and few wear masks. He said Trump 'keeps his distance' while letting his supporters 'risk their lives.'

'All he loves is rallies, and the next time he holds one, look closer. Trump keeps his distance from anyone in the rally. The folks who come are packed in as tight as they can be, risking disease, mostly without masks. But not Trump. He safely keeps his distance,' Biden said. 'He's willing to let everybody else in the crowd risk their lives but not him.'

He added: 'For Trump these rallies are about entertainment, adoration, and not respect. But you don't kid yourself, this is a one-way street.'

Trump held a rally in Henderson, Nevada, last weekend that saw 5,000 supporters gather in a warehouse with little social distancing and few wearing masks. The business was fined $3,000 for hosting the event in violation of Nevada regulations. The Trump campaign says it encourages supporters to wear masks but adds people are free to make their own choices. 

Joe Biden elbow bumps a worker during his visit to an aluminum manufacturing facility in Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Joe Biden elbow bumps a worker during his visit to an aluminum manufacturing facility in Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Both supporters of President Trump and Joe Biden were outside the aluminum manufacturing facility that Joe Biden visited in Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Both supporters of President Trump and Joe Biden were outside the aluminum manufacturing facility that Joe Biden visited in Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Meanwhile, Biden wore a white surgical mask during his remarks on Monday in accordance with Wisconsin rules that require masks be worn indoors in public places.  

Biden took his attack on Trump further, hitting him personally by accusing the president of panicking about the pandemic and America 'paid the worst price' for it.

'Trump panicked. The virus was too big for him,' he said. 'All his life, Trump has been bailed out by any problem he faced. In this crisis, the real crisis, a crisis that's required severe presidential leadership, he just wasn't up to it. He froze. He failed to act. He panicked, and America has paid the worst price of any nation in the world.' 

Biden's speech came as the overall death toll from the coronavirus neared 200,000 on Monday. He warned Americans against becoming numb about the disease. 

'We've been living with this pandemic for so long we're becoming numb,' he said. 'We can't let that happen.' 

'We can't let the numbers become statistics and background noise,' he added.


The first shutdowns began in March and the resulting ripple affect closed businesses, tanked the economy and caused unemployment to sky rocket.

There have been more than 6.79 million confirmed cases of COVID in the United States and 24 states have seen an increase in new cases in the past week. 

Trump has tried to jump start America, urging business to reopen and promising a vaccine in the next few months.

He has also blamed China, where the virus was first detected, for the devastation from the virus.

'I'm angry at them, because they could have stopped this. They could have stopped it easily,' he said of China Monday morning on 'Fox & Friends.'

'They stopped it from going back - further into their country, but they didn't stop it from going out to the rest of the world, of which we're a part,' he added.

Democrats are trying to win back Wisconsin after Hillary Clinton lost it by less than a point in the 2016 election. It was a shocking defeat four years ago and Trump's win there helped put him in the White House. He was the first Republican presidential candidate to carry the state since 1984.

Biden leads in polling in the state, up by nearly seven points in the RealClearPolitics polling average of Wisconsin polls. A Reuters/Ipsos poll out Monday showed Biden up five points in Wisconsin. 

Trump, himself, was in Wisconsin on Thursday, where he slammed Biden for canceling the planned Democratic National Convention for Milwaukee in August. Democrats held a mostly virtual event instead because of the coronavirus.

'On Air Force One heading to Wisconsin. Biden refused to go there to apologize for not showing up for the failed Democrat Convention. So funny to watch the Fake News fawning over Sleepy Joe's ridiculous 'car press conference'. Pathetic!,' Trump tweeted in route to the state. 

In his remarks at his rally, he said Biden 'let you down when he never even came back to Milwaukee,' adding 'I came to Wisconsin a lot.'

Biden and Trump are both appealing the same middle-class, blue collar workers who helped the president win his first term.

Biden attacked President Trump for holding rallies like one in Henderson, Nevada, where few socially distanced and wore face masks - the Trump campaign says it encourages face coverings but people are free to do what they want

Biden attacked President Trump for holding rallies like one in Henderson, Nevada, where few socially distanced and wore face masks - the Trump campaign says it encourages face coverings but people are free to do what they want

Biden was given a tour of the Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry where he met with workers and saw a furnace that processes molten aluminum at intense heat - an indicator light said the temperatures exceeded 1400 degrees

Biden was given a tour of the Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry where he met with workers and saw a furnace that processes molten aluminum at intense heat - an indicator light said the temperatures exceeded 1400 degrees

Biden has tailored his remarks to that voting bloc in recent speeches and stops, including one on Friday in Minnesota, in the Iron Range, known for mining and manufacturing.

On Monday, he portrayed himself as the every man who didn't attend an Ivy League school and accused Trump of seeing the world from Park Avenue.

'It's how Trump looks at the world. He sees the world from Park Avenue. I see the world from where I grew up – Scranton, Pennsylvania,' he said.

He argued Trump's executive mindset meant the president was for tax hikes for the wealthy, against a $15 an hour minimum wage, and would make cuts to health care and Social Security. 

'I've dealt with guys like Trump my whole life. Guys who look down on you because they've got a lot of money. Guys who think they're better than you,' Biden said. 

Ahead of his speech in Wisconsin, he toured the Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry. A large crowd of a few hundred Trump and Biden supporters gathered down the street. Chants of 'Let's go, Joe' could be heard while many of the Trump supporters were waving Trump flags.

Biden met with workers who were socially distanced away from him during his tour. He elbow bumped with one of them. 

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