Biden slams Trump on virus response, unveils energy plan during Wilmington speech

Democratic presidential candidate AND former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Chase Center Tuesday in Wilmington. Biden delivered remarks on his campaign’s “Build Back Better” clean energy economic plan. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/TNS)

WILMINGTON – Quell the pandemic first, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden urged the White House on Tuesday afternoon during a speech from Wilmington’s Chase Center on the Riverfront.

Until the spread of the coronavirus is significantly mitigated, economic recovery is of far less concern, he said.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee immediately slammed President Donald Trump and his response to the pandemic to begin 20 minutes of remarks delivered before a small media gathering. Mr. Biden took no questions afterward and Republican party members quickly criticized his past performances on issues.

On Twitter Tuesday, President Trump said, “Joe Biden never did anything except make very bad decisions for his 47 years in Washington.”

Describing the United States as a “country in crisis” and referencing more than 135,000 Americans dead and more than 3 million infected, Mr. Biden called for greater leadership from the president as he noted that 19 states have reported record-high case numbers in the last few days.

Also on the rise are hospitalizations and deaths, which Mr. Biden maintained were “two of the most concerning indicators of Trump’s failed response – (and) are already unacceptably high.”

With that backdrop, Mr. Biden said, “It’s gotten bad enough that even Donald Trump finally decided to wear a mask in public.

“I’m glad he made that shift — but it’s not enough, Mr. President.

“We won’t be able to turn the corner and get the American people back to work safely without presidential leadership.

“‘Open everything now’ isn’t a strategy for success. It’s barely a slogan. Quit pushing the false choice between protecting our health and protecting our economy. All that does is endanger our recovery on both fronts.

“Please listen to your own public health experts instead of denigrating them …”

Without a stronger response to the public health crisis, Mr. Biden said “we can’t deal with the economic crisis … or deal with almost 18 million Americans who are out of work, and the incredible pain inflicted on small businesses and communities of color.”

The longtime U.S. senator who represented Delaware continued on with his take that “we can’t deal with the climate crisis that could cast an even darker and more permanent shadow over our country and the world.

“And we won’t be able to do what America has always done — come back stronger than ever with grit, toughness, and resilience

Joe Biden wears a face mask before speaking at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington on Tuesday afternoon. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

President Trump’s Delaware campaign manager Rob Arlett listened in on the remarks and responded soon afterward with “What record does Joe Biden have to do anything to address a pandemic?”

According to Mr. Arlett, “The Obama-Biden administration stopped Swine flu (H1N1) testing and that the Obama-Biden team depleted our N-95 mask supply chain whereas President Trump is restoring our supply chain and constantly increasing testing.”

Also, Mr. Arlett maintained, “In the end we know Joe Biden best in Delaware. In my mind, as a 14-year resident of Delaware, he has a track record of failing Delaware, therefore he will fail America.

“Show me otherwise for what he’s done for Delaware.”

In Mr. Arlett’s opinion, “Joe Biden wants our borders open and our schools closed. President Trump is working to safely reopen our schools so students can be educated, and parents can get back to work.”

‘Build Back Better’

After the pandemic-related opening, Mr. Biden shifted to part of his “Build Back Better” plan, including the creation of “millions of high-quality, union jobs by building a modern infrastructure and a clean energy future.”

Mr. Biden tied modernizing infrastructure improvements to national highways, bridges and high-speed broadband access crucial to returning Americans to work and children to school safely, “to get our goods to market swiftly, and to power a clean energy revolution in this country …”

On those fronts, according to Mr. Biden, the president and congressional Republicans have failed.

“Donald Trump promised a big infrastructure bill when he ran in 2016,” Mr. Biden said. “He promised it again in 2017 … and in 2018 … and in 2019. And he’s promising one again.

Every few weeks when he needs a distraction from the latest charge of corruption in his staff — or the conviction of high-ranking members of his administration and political apparatus — the White House announces it’s ‘Infrastructure Week.’

“But he’s never delivered. Never even really tried.”

While outlining his $2 trillion plan, Mr. Biden pointed to his time in office with President Barack Obama, which included enacting “the largest infrastructure plan since President Eisenhower’s interstate highway system, not only generating jobs, but improving the safety of our roads” along with making “the largest investment in clean energy in history — 90 billion dollars.”

The action, according to Mr. Biden, came in the throes of an economy in freefall and staved off another Great Depression.

“It put us on a path toward a thriving clean energy economy, powering new economic growth and reducing energy costs,” he said.

“Here we are now with the economy in crisis, but with an incredible opportunity not just to build back to where we were before, but better, stronger, more resilient, and more prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.”

Mr. Biden described climate change as the most crucial challenge over the next 10 years.

“Left unchecked, it is an existential threat to the health of our planet and to our very survival.

“That’s not up for dispute, Mr. President. When Donald Trump thinks about climate change — all he can muster is one word: ‘hoax.’

“When I think about climate change — I think of a word as well: ‘jobs.’ ”

Through Mr. Biden’s vision, well-paid, union jobs will emerge to clean the air, restore and repair infrastructure and increase and improve transportation of America-made products nationwide and worldwide.

Mr. Biden said he is pushing for a network of 500,000 charging stations nationwide, booting the American auto industry through electric vehicle building and saving working families money on gas.

Commitment to infrastructure

With commitment to infrastructure, according to the former vice president, a pollution- and commute-dropping railroad system can evolve while increasing investment opportunities in connected metropolitan areas.

With the proper vision, Mr. Biden believes American manufacturing capacity can establish a substantial hold on the global market. The push will include constructing the needed platforms, towers and ladders needed, requiring United States manufacturing companies to erect the structures.

Mr. Biden also touched on reviving ports, energy retrofitting for lighting, conservation measures to lessen electricity consumption, bettering air and water quality, constructing new energy-efficient homes and public housing units and more.

I know that climate change is the challenge that’s going to define our American future — and I know meeting this challenge will be a once-in-a-century opportunity to jolt new life into our economy, strengthen our global leadership, and protect our planet for future generations.

If elected President, Mr. Biden said, “we’re not just going to tinker around the edges.

“We’re going to make historic investments that will seize this opportunity and meet this moment in history. We’re going to get to work delivering results right away — on day one.

“… So my timeline for results is my first four years as president — the jobs we’ll create, the investments we’ll make, and the irreversible steps we’ll take to mitigate and adapt to climate change and to put our nation on the road to net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.”

Before Mr. Biden had concluded his remarks, Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Joyce released a statement that read:

“Joe Biden’s wild obsession with eliminating all fossil fuels, raising trillions in taxes and reshaping the American economy to fit coastal elite values will destroy millions of jobs and devastate our economy.

“Joe Biden is now fully beholden to Bernie Sanders, AOC and Ilhan Omar, the radical, left-wing mob.”