Biden rolls out plan to combat coronavirus

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE rolled out his plan to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus on Thursday as it rapidly spreads throughout the United States. 

Biden’s plan calls for a number of measures, including the establishment of an effective national response to the virus through making testing free and widely available, as well as the establishment of 10 mobile sites and drive-thru facilities per state.

The former vice president also called on greater transparency from the White House in terms of how many individuals have been tested. 

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The plan also called for an economic response to the outbreak, which includes emergency paid leave for all those affected by the outbreak. The response would also work to aid workers, families and small businesses affected by the outbreak. 

Biden announced the plan during an address in Wilmington, Del., less than 24 hours after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE addressed the nation about the outbreak. 

The former vice president contrasted himself with the president, criticizing Trump for his response to the crisis. Trump in an Oval Office address Wednesday night announced steep restrictions on travel from much of Europe for the next 30 days.

“Unfortunately, this virus laid bare the severe shortcomings of the current administration. Public fears are being compounded by pervasive lack of trust in this president,” Biden said. 

“Neither should we panic or fallback on xenophobia,” he said. “Labeling COVID-19 a ‘foreign virus’ does not displace accountability for the misjudgments that have been taken thus far by the Trump administration. Let me be crystal clear: the coronavirus does not have a political affiliation.”

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Trump referred to the virus as “foreign” during his address. The administration has also come under fire for the number of testing kits available in the U.S. 

Trump’s reelection campaign hit back at Biden, accusing him of politicizing the virus. 

“President Trump acted early and decisively and has put the United States on stronger footing than other nations,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement. “His every move has been aimed at keeping Americans safe, while Joe Biden has sought to capitalize politically and stoke citizens’ fears.”

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