During a speech in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden ripped into President Donald Trump over his response to the COVID-19 crisis.
“The president wants us to believe there’s a choice between the economy and public health,” Biden said. “Amazingly, he still hasn’t grasped the most basic fact of this crisis: To fix the economy, we have to get control over the virus.
“He’s like a child who just can’t believe this has happened to him. It’s all whining and self-pity,” Biden added. “This pandemic didn’t happen to him. It happened to all of us. And his job isn’t to whine about it. His job is to do something about it — to lead. If I have the honor of being president, I promise you I will lead.”
More from the New York Times: Mr. Biden’s speech, delivered at a gymnasium in Lancaster, Pa., was designed to focus attention on his call to expand protections under the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Biden warned that insurance companies, if freed from the federal mandate to cover pre-existing conditions, could deny people coverage if they had suffered from the coronavirus. And he called the Trump administration’s legal efforts to overturn the 2010 health care law “cruel.” “If Donald Trump has his way, complications from Covid-19 could become a new pre-existing condition,” Mr. Biden said. Mr. Biden’s Lancaster event came as the former vice president has been under harsh criticism from Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign for conducing his campaign primarily from his home in Wilmington, Del., 50 miles away, because of coronavirus concerns. But there is little evidence so far that American voters are punishing Mr. Biden for his caution — a suite of polls from The New York Times and Siena College released this week show Mr. Biden leading Mr. Trump by 14 percentage points nationwide and with healthy leads in the battleground states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Watch Biden’s full speech below.