Biden slams Trump's handling of coronavirus, economy at Michigan campaign stop


Former Vice President Joe Biden. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden.

Wednesday's big bombshell was the news that President Donald Trump admitted to veteran reporter Bob Woodward that he purposefully downplayed the risk of the coronavirus, despite knowing early on how deadly it was. "I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic," Trump told Woodward in mid-March, according to CNN — while he publicly insisted the virus would "miraculously" disappear by Easter, and refused to be photographed wearing a mask.

Of course, the fact that Woodward sat on this knowledge for months to sell his new book, Rage, is another conversation. To date, more than 190,000 Americans have died from the pandemic.

Trump's Democratic Party rival, Joe Biden, responded to the news during a campaign stop on Wednesday in Warren, calling it "beyond despicable" and "a dereliction of duty."

"It's a disgrace," Biden said, adding that if the federal government acted two weeks sooner, more than 50,000 lives could have been saved — and that he believes it could have saved the U.S. economy from going into a "tailspin."

Biden's stop at UAW Region 1 headquarters was his first visit in Michigan since becoming the Democratic Party nominee. Of course, Macomb County is a famous bellwether in American politics, and it makes sense that Biden would make a play for the blue-collar workers there, who famously turned to Trump in 2016.

"I don't buy for one second that the vitality of American manufacturing is a thing of the past," Biden told the crowd.

In another appeal for Trump voters, Biden also unveiled a plan to offer tax breaks to companies looking to move production to the U.S., and penalize domestic companies that manufacture goods abroad to sell in the U.S. with higher tax rates. He also proposed signing executive orders during his first days in office that would require federal projects to use U.S.-made steel and aluminum, something Trump has also pushed.

"Make it in Michigan, make it in America, invest in our communities and the workers in places like Warren," Biden said. "That's what this is about."

Biden also shouted out Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who at one point had strongly considered to be his running mate, praising her leadership amid the pandemic.

Trump will hold a campaign event in Michigan on Thursday in Saginaw.

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