WASHINGTON — Former vice president Joe Biden excoriated President Trump’s Covid-19 response as he accepted the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, casting the pandemic as the defining issue in the Nov. 3 election.

Biden lambasted the president for continually downplaying the pandemic, even as it continues to spread throughout the country.

“The president keeps telling us the virus is going to disappear,” he said. “He keeps waiting for a miracle. I have news for him: No miracle is coming.”

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Biden said he would immediately move to implement a sweeping pandemic-response plan that he argued the White House still lacks, more than six months after Covid-19 reached U.S. soil.

“After all this time, the president still does not have a plan,” Biden said. “Well, I do. If I’m your president, on Day 1, we’ll implement the national strategy I’ve been laying out since March.”

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The speech capped a weeklong Democratic National Convention laser-focused on the pandemic — and conducted almost entirely by videoconference due to virus fears. Throughout the convention, top Biden surrogates, sitting lawmakers, former president Barack Obama, and Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, have highlighted the Trump administration’s piecemeal pandemic response and the resulting carnage.

“Just judge this president on the facts,” Biden said. “Five million Americans infected by Covid-19. More than 170,000 Americans have died — by far the worst performance of any nation on Earth.” (The raw U.S. death toll is higher than any other country, but the country ranks eighth among major nations in terms of deaths per capita.)

The national strategy Biden referenced is based on advice from leading public health officials, including numerous high-level Obama administration deputies, all of whom began working with his campaign even before he clinched the Democratic nomination.

He has elevated key officials including Zeke Emanuel, a key Affordable Care Act architect; David Kessler, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner; Nicole Lurie, the former assistant health secretary for preparedness and response; and Vivek Murthy, the former surgeon general.

His Covid-19 plan includes an ambitious scale-up of testing, mandatory mask requirements across all 50 states, and daily briefings conducted by scientists, not by politicians.

The actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who played host to much of Thursday evening’s programming, recalled that Biden was among the first to call her after her recent cancer diagnosis, and cited his leadership of the Obama administration’s Cancer Moonshot just a year after the death of his son, Beau, from brain cancer.

Murthy, the former surgeon general and a top Covid-19 adviser to the Biden campaign, attacked Trump in an uncommonly sharp rebuke from a former health official.

“We need a leader who works with states to ensure that everyone who needs a test gets one and gets results quickly,” he said in a televised speech earlier Thursday. “A leader who secures a safe, effective vaccine and distributed quickly and fairly; a leader who inspires us to practice distancing and wear masks, not as a political statement but as a patriotic duty.”

In a statement, the Trump campaign said Biden was “behind the curve” on Covid-19 and accused him of rewriting history regarding the president’s reaction and his own. “There’s no evidence he would have handled it differently,” the statement said.

Before Covid-19, Biden had sought to strike a middle ground on health reform, proposing sweeping expansions of health insurance even as he resisted advocates’ push for universal, government-run health care.

His health care agenda, if implemented, would still represent a dramatic expansion of health insurance for Americans. Biden’s proposals include a “public option” that would allow Americans who don’t like private insurance options to buy into government coverage similar to Medicare. It would increase the value of the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits, and, separately, allow low-income Americans in states that have declined to expand Medicaid access to the same public insurance option — without paying monthly premiums.

And on prescription drug prices, a defining policy issue throughout Trump’s first term and in the 2018 election, Biden has pledged to repeal a longstanding ban on direct price negotiation between Medicare price negotiation. His platform also includes a scheme to limit the price of expensive new drugs upon their approval, and limiting drug price increases to the rate of inflation.

  • Trump has cost the lives of those who contracted covid 19, he is also responsible for denying medication for those of us suffer from PAIN. His ignorance of medical issues has brought suffering for so many that I hope Biden will stop this. Obama ordered CDC to do a study that issued guidelines for the amount of pain medications given, but pain is on a individual basis. When will this ignorance stop and those of us who are suffering and dying be given care by doctors not politicians.

  • So 250,000 bikers descended on sturges recently for their annual 2 week rally.
    They did not wear masks or obey socil distance rules. Wouldn’t itbeen a perfect time for Dr Fauci or the Democrats to issue contract tracing to see how covid 19 is spreading from the event. Dr Fauci is a fraud and the Democrats are fear mongers

  • Denying facts became a way of life. This is not a political issue. Please read the old newspapers to check how recommendations changed 180 degrees.

    • Recommendations for not wearing masks early on was due primarily to a shortage not because they were ineffective.

  • Trump fans commenting here have learned well from their “leader” one thing: by all means, blame everyone else and take no responsibility.

    If Biden wins, he will take responsibility, follow science, lead and help stop COVID. If trump is re-elected, better move somewhere else quickly, as science will disappear along with democracy from US soil, and our chance of surviving COVID will plummet.

  • The president listened to the top expert Dr. Fauci and other authorities CDC, the surgeon general, WHO. They should be questioned, not the president. Why are they not? They made huge mistakes and the president is paying the price? The doctors need to question themselves. Long shut-downs and no masks were prescribed by the top doctors and authorities. The president obviously could not take the responsability of not listening to the medical establishment. These authorities need to be questioned.

  • Fauci blew the response early one when he advised that masks were to be reserved for first line responders, and did not simultaneously advise the acquisition and/or production of millions of more effective masks. Testing will do little good if no effective isolation is available because no effective masks are available. The R&D has been neglected for decades. Not Trump’s fault.

    • Trump closed the pandemic preparedness office in the White House. Trump refused to acknowledge that COVID was spreading in the US. Trump criticized (Democratic) governors for issuing mask mandates. Trump continues to argue against widespread testing. Trump is refusing to lead on COVID response bills.

      Trump is the President. He is ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of the US. His refusal to acknowledge the crisis. His refusal to lead are his fault. And those failures by Trump are why the US is seeing millions of new cases >200,000 deaths from COVID

  • So Slow Joe spent 3 months hiding in his basement, while others his age didn’t have the luxury and were out working. If you are going to lead, you need to lead, not hide.
    So Biden is going to tell so guy in Wyoming with no around to be wearing a mask.. BTW, he also was the first to criticize Trump for shutting down travel to China.

    • And how much good does testing really do you if you can be infected five minutes after you take the test on the same day, or anytime in the 2 weeks it may take you to get your test results back. Major planning blunder #1 in a string of over 1200 planning blunder days from the New Communist Central Planning Committee, namely AOC and the democrats.

    • Joe Biden is today a private citizen who has been outspoken (from his basement & elsewhere) on the disastrous, Trump-led US response to COVID. That is what leadership looks like. Joe Biden has proposed a plan for addressing COVID (from his basement & elsewhere). That is what leadership looks like. He has more of a plan than Trump who has the entire Federal government at his disposal.

      Trump is the President. Why isn’t he leading the effort? Why did he ignore and deny COVID for months and months and months while millions were sickened and >175,000 (and growing) people in the US died from COVID?

  • so Biden offers no new ideas to protect the citizens of the US from the Civd 19 virus than what president Trump has offered by his administration and health officials ; to think otherwise is actually ignorant and foolish ; call it taking the bait ; the virus does not know who is president of the US nor who is running now for president ; it’s behavior is based strictly on the way it was designed and will spread ; only a proper vaccine that is effective w/o side effects is the answer ;
    I understand better than most because I grew up in a science family all with Phd’s my father from Columbia in chemistry and my grandfather with two from Cambridge U in the 1800’s ; others from Harvard , Yale and Cornell

    • Huh, I mean i don’t need a family of phd holders to put a mask on, right? Mandating the port of the mask would’ve been a great move don’t you think?
      And don’t bother politicizing me I’m french, no eggs in your basket.

    • Even without your pedigree, I see that Biden offers a real plan (detailed on his website). Big difference from “someday it will all go away” and meanwhile, let’s not test people — because more testing will show more cases — and let’s keep the PPE out of this country.

      Masks, distancing, tests will all go a long way to controlling Covid. The experiences of countries all over the world should show you what an abject failure this laissez-faire approach has been.

    • How would the fact that your whole family hold PhD s influence your own ‘knowledge’ of a yet -to -be -fully understood new virus? Are you a scientist, a researcher, a virologist? Masks have widely proven to be effective in countries where they are still mandatory, like Italy,the first Western country to be targeted by Covid with massive numbers of deaths. Italy France Spain the UK etc have mandatory mask policies, and see clusters of cases, not the ever spreading epidemic we all helplessly can see developing in the US. Much like Kevin lemoult , I am not a US citizen, not voting in the US elections, and not a resident either. so no vested interests . Just appalled at the lack of understanding of the situation from so many in the US – Masks should not become a political token, or -the lack thereof- a weapon of mass destruction!

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