From the West End Neighborhood House in Wilmington, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden came out hard against President Donald Trump's handling of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and resulting state of the economy Friday, saying the president has failed on all fronts.
"The August jobs report came out this morning, and I'm grateful for everyone who found work again, and found a glimmer of hope that brings them back from the edge," Biden said. "But there is real cause for concern as well. The pace of the job gains in August was slower than July, significantly slower than in May and June. More and more temporary layoffs are turning into permanent layoffs. Twenty eight million people file for unemployment. And after six months in the pandemic, we're less than halfway back to where we were."
Biden chose the West End Neighborhood house because his family has history working from it supporting Delawareans, or learning there and utilizing its services. He said the facility stands for everyone, but the pandemic has disproportionately affected those in Black communities.
"That's what we should be thinking about with this latest jobs report. The report reinforces the worst fears and painful truth: The economic inequities that began before the downturn, have only worsened under this failed presidency," Biden said. "When the crisis started, we all hoped for a few months of a shutdown...followed by rapid economic turnaround. No one thought they lose the job for good, or see small businesses shut down en masse. That kind of recovery requires leadership--leadership we didn't have and still don't have."
The recovery has been classified as "K-shaped," Biden said, meaning that "those on the top" continue to profit while those who have the least continue to lose out. The former vice president said that should surprise no one, as Trump doesn't care about anyone but himself, and friends of his ilk.
"It's no surprise because at the root of this is the fact that Trump has mismanaged the COVID crisis," he said. "The President's chaotic mismanagement of the pandemic is still holding us back, compared to other major industrial countries in Europe and Asia...The President has botched, the COVID response, botched it badly. I've said from the beginning: we can't deal with an economic crisis until you beat the pandemic. You can't have an economic comeback when almost 1,000 Americans die each day from COVID."
Biden said it "didn't have to be this bad," if only Trump had taken the presidency more seriously, and treated the virus like an actual threat instead of dismissing it early on and dismissing scientific advice and guidelines later.
"You're not safe in Donald Trump's America, where people are dying at a rate last seen when Americans were fighting in World War II," he said. "Donald Trump's malpractice during this pandemic has made being a working American a life or death [situation]."
Trump has left those facing rent and mortgage shortfalls facing living in the streets without federal assistance, having to pay back rent to get caught up on their own at a time where millions weren't working, and rejecting plans that would help Americans survive these difficult times.
"He should be doing his job of calling congressional leaders together, immediately, to get a deal and deliver real results to the American people," Biden said. "If I were president, that's what I'd do and I'd get it done--like previous presidents."
Biden just wants to see someone doing the job a president should be doing.
"Bottom line, Mr. President: Do your job," he said. "Get off your golf course and out of the sand bunker. Call the leaders together in the Oval Office, sit with them and make a deal; make a deal that delivers for working Americans and eases their anxiety and pain."