Joe Biden

Biden Campaign Press Release - Fact Sheet: Donald Trump's Utter Botching of the COVID-19 Response

August 26, 2020

[APP NOTE:  This is a press release from the Biden campaign as it was originally posted.  Nothing in it was prepared by the American Presidency Project, nor does the APP comment pro or con on its accuracy.  The links are from the original document and may no longer work.]

From the outset, Donald Trump has bungled our response to the coronavirus, leaving America with the worst outbreak in the world with over 175,000 people dead, five million infected, and our economy reeling.

  • New York Times, 8/6/20: "one country stands alone, as the only affluent nation to have suffered a severe, sustained outbreak for more than four months: the United States."

Instead of listening to warnings from Vice President Biden and public health experts, Trump praised the Chinese government's response and mindlessly parroted their propaganda — failing to prepare America to deal with the virus.

  • Washington Post, 3/20/20: "Trump's insistence on the contrary seemed to rest in his relationship with China's President Xi Jingping, whom Trump believed was providing him with reliable information about how the virus was spreading in China, despite reports from intelligence agencies that Chinese officials were not being candid about the true scale of the crisis."
  • New York Times, 4/11/2020: "Throughout January, as Mr. Trump repeatedly played down the seriousness of the virus and focused on other issues, an array of figures inside his government — from top White House advisers to experts deep in the cabinet departments and intelligence agencies — identified the threat, sounded alarms and made clear the need for aggressive action."
  • POLITICO, 4/15/20: "Trump, however, echoed many of those same assurances regarding China and its response to the virus throughout January and February, as the unique coronavirus began to infiltrate countries around the world. Just days before the U.S. recorded its first death from Covid-19, Trump touted China's government for its transparency and hard work to defeat the coronavirus that causes the illness."

As COVID-19 swept across our country, Trump bungled testing, leaving us with persistent shortages and delays even now. And, Trump inexcusably failed to get protective equipment to the heroes on the front lines of this fight, opting to side with corporate lobbyists instead of heeding Vice President Biden's call to fully invoke the Defense Production Act to mobilize our economy to fight the virus.

  • New York Times, 3/28/20: "As the deadly virus spread from China with ferocity across the United States between late January and early March, large-scale testing of people who might have been infected did not happen — because of technical flaws, regulatory hurdles, business-as-usual bureaucracies and lack of leadership at multiple levels."
  • New York Times, 7/6/20: "In recent weeks, as cases have surged in many states, the demand for testing has soared, surpassing capacity and creating a new testing crisis."
  • Washington Post, 7/8/20: "Health-care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic are encountering shortages of masks, gowns, face shields and gloves — a frustrating recurrence of a struggle that haunted the first months of the crisis."
  • CNN, 7/14/20: "Trump administration's delayed use of 1950s law leads to critical supplies shortages"

As the crisis mounted, Trump's failure to effectively lead undercut our response to the pandemic at every turn and cost Americans their lives.

  • POLITICO, 3/7/20: "For six weeks behind the scenes, and now increasingly in public, Trump has undermined his administration's own efforts to fight the coronavirus outbreak — resisting attempts to plan for worst-case scenarios, overturning a public-health plan upon request from political allies and repeating only the warnings that he chose to hear.
  • Washington Post, 4/4/20: "It may never be known how many thousands of deaths, or millions of infections, might have been prevented with a response that was more coherent, urgent and effective. But even now, there are many indications that the administration's handling of the crisis had potentially devastating consequences."
  • NBC News, 3/14/20: "An examination of how the Trump administration responded to the coronavirus outbreak that was first documented in December reveals a story of missed opportunities, mismanagement and a president who resisted the advice of experts urging a more aggressive response."

Even after months of abject failure on COVID-19, Trump still refuses to take the threat seriously, repeatedly claiming that it will simply "disappear" even as he and his allies attack public health officials and undermine the basic measures we need to control the virus.

  • POLITICO, 8/1/2020: "President Donald Trump publicly rebuked Dr. Anthony Fauci on Saturday, forcefully rejecting the nation's top infectious disease expert's testimony on why the U.S. has experienced a renewed surge in coronavirus cases."

Joseph R. Biden, Biden Campaign Press Release - Fact Sheet: Donald Trump's Utter Botching of the COVID-19 Response Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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