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‘The wartime president has surrendered’


US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks on June 30, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joe Biden laid out his most comprehensive, detailed case to date against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying the president “has waved the white flag and left the field of battle” against the resurgent coronavirus pandemic. 

Speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, over about an hour, Biden also staked out positions on a range of hot-button issues, including the alleged Russian bounties paid for dead American troops in Afghanistan, the removal of Confederate monuments and his own cognitive ability. 

But with coronavirus cases surging across the country and several states rolling back their reopening plans, Biden’s most effective lines against Trump were his critiques of the president’s response to a pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 125,000 Americans since February.

Biden’s remarks also came as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration’s leading voice on the virus, warned Tuesday that the U.S. could top 100,000 cases a day.

“All of the steps you’ve taken so far haven’t gotten the job done, Mr. President,” Biden said of Trump, who still insists that the recent surge in cases is due to broader testing and not a resurgence of the virus itself.

“Remember back in March when he called himself a wartime president?” Biden said in his remarks. “Remember when he exhorted the nation to ‘sacrifice together’ to face an ‘invisible enemy’? What happened? Now it’s almost July, and it seems the wartime president has surrendered — has waved the white flag and left the field of battle.”

“Today we’re facing a serious threat, and we must meet it — as one country. But this president gives us no direction. He pits us against one another,” said Biden.

Biden used the speech to lay out his own five-point plan to address the pandemic, one of several contrasts he drew between Trump and himself.

The former vice president said he would provide free nationwide coronavirus testing, deploy 100,000 contact tracers, establish national standards for reopening, use the Defense Production Act to further increase protective equipment manufacturing, and provide additional federal support to the elderly and people of color, who have been especially hard-hit by the virus.

Months of lockdowns that have crippled the U.S. economy, Biden said, “were intended to buy us the time to get our act together. But instead of using that time to prepare ourselves — Donald Trump squandered it.” 

“The American people didn’t make enormous sacrifices over the past four months so you could waste your time with late night ranting and tweets,” said the former vice president, addressing Trump. “They didn’t make these sacrifices so you could ignore the science and turn responsible steps like wearing a mask into a political statement.”

“You’ve called yourself a ‘cheerleader’ for the nation. We don’t need a cheerleader. We need a…


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