America Votes

Joe Biden Criticizes President Trump's COVID-19 Response As Cases Rise

In a speech in Pennsylvania, Joe Biden said the White House's coronavirus response is "woefully lacking," and he called for continued vigilance.

Joe Biden Criticizes President Trump's COVID-19 Response As Cases Rise
Matt Slocum / AP

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden ramped up his criticism of President Trump's coronavirus response on Wednesday, insisting the fight against COVID-19 is long from over. 

"The public health response is still woefully, woefully lacking from his administration," Biden said. 

Biden spent the afternoon in Pennsylvania focused on what the country needs to get back to business safely. He recently laid out a reopening plan that focuses on widespread testing, contact tracing and clear safety guidelines for businesses.

"It's not rocket science. Granted, I have incredible scientists advising me on almost a daily basis on how to proceed. But it's not rocket science. It's common sense," Biden said. "American people need confidence of clear guidance grounded in science that's going to allow them to resume their daily lives."

Biden also proposes using OSHA to enforce coronavirus safety guidelines. He'd like to see the government step in to guarantee paid sick leave to everyone and to financially assist small businesses that are struggling because of social distancing guidelines.

The Trump administration, however, is moving forward with its reopening plan and trying to tamp down concerns of a second wave.

"The White House is confident that we have enough testing to identify asymptomatic individuals, that we have therapeutics that are promising, that we are working on a vaccine with Project Warp Speed that we hope will be there by the end of the year and we think will be. And we have a robust public-private partnership that has shored up America's supply chain. So we are in a good place," said White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

More than a dozen states are experiencing an increase in reported cases of the coronavirus. In Oklahoma, where President Trump is scheduled to hold a large campaign rally on Saturday, the number of cases has been steadily going up since the beginning of June.

Cases are also spiking here in Florida — where Republicans recently announced the president will deliver his convention speech later this summer. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said he has no plans to shut down again.

"We're going to continue to go forward. We're going to continue to protect the most vulnerable," said DeSantis. "We should be trusting people to make good decisions. Floridians have shown they can do that thus far, and I hope they'll continue to do that in the future."