President Trump waved off the 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day in the U.S. saying they’re ‘being handled’ as he focused on reopening churches and businesses during his appearance Friday in the White House briefing room.
‘It’s got a life. And we are putting out that life because it’s a bad life that we’re talking about,’ he said, talking about the virus. He also claimed to be ‘putting out the fires.’
Shortly after Trump spoke, his Democratic rival Joe Biden appeared via livestream and criticized the president’s response to the pandemic, saying he was ‘stunned’ that the tens of thousands of new COVID-19 cases were never mentioned.
‘Today’s report is positive news and I’m thankful for it, for real, but make no mistake we’re still in a deep, deep job hole because Donald Trump has so badly bungled the response to the coronavirus,’ Biden said.
Trump came out to the podium to tout adding 4.8 million jobs to the economy, saying the economy was ‘roaring back, coming back extremely strong,’ all while states are having to rollback closures due to the slew of new COVID-19 cases.
President Trump waved off the 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day in the U.S. saying they’re ‘being handled’
Joe Biden delivered brief remarks after the president’s briefing room appearance, saying he was ‘stunned’ that the president didn’t mention the 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day figure
Biden pointed out that the jobs data was from the work week of June 12 and cases per day have nearly doubled since then.
‘Look, let’s not lose sight of a critical point, this report measures job gains as of June the 12th. In the days since we’ve seen cases spiking around the country. Some businesses close again, some states reimposing restrictions,’ Biden said. ‘And in the last two weeks we’ve seen almost 3 million new unemployment filings and another 1.7 million people seeking pandemic unemployment uninsurance.’
‘There’s no victory to be celebrated,’ Biden said.
When Trump talked about the virus Friday, he downplayed the spikes and continued to cheer on the reopening.
‘And now we’re opening it up and it’s opening up far faster than anybody thought even possible and more successful,’ the president said.
Biden interpreted what the president said by claiming, ‘Donald Trump has just given up.’
‘He’s not even trying to secure the public health anymore,’ the Democrats’ presumptive nominee said. ‘He’d rather go back to his campaign rallies, he’s not interested in uniting us in this fight of a common threat we face and he’s decided that he has more to gain by dividing this country for his political purposes.’
Without giving guidance to states, Biden suggested, the pandemic would only grow worse.
Trump has continued to give states’ full authority to deal with reopening and said he’d only get involved ‘if we see something egregious’ – meaning if a state was too cautious in its reopening.
‘We’ve gotten involved with a couple of them when we thought it was unfair,’ the president said. ‘We’d like to see churches open quickly. And some of them just don’t want do to that,’ he complained.
At the podium, he championed his administration’s handling of the virus, saying it saved ‘millions.’
Biden chided him for rarely acknowledging the dead.
‘Has he even once expressed any real empathy for the families who will never be whole again because of this virus?’ the former vice president asked.
Trump expressed that his priority was getting Americans back to work.
‘We’ve implemented an aggressive strategy to vanquish and kill the virus and protect Americans at the highest risk, while allowing those at lower risk to return safely to work – that’s what’s happening,’ he said. ‘Our health experts continue to address the temporary hotspots in certain cities and counties and we’re working very hard on that.’
Biden warned that Trump’s optimistic spin was dangerously out of touch.
He pointed to comments Trump made during a Fox Business Network interview Wednesday suggesting the coronavirus would ‘will disappear, I hope.’
‘It’s like deja vu all over again,’ Biden said. ‘We’re months into this crisis and that’s his best answer? Quit hoping for the best Mr. President, quit claiming victory with almost 15 million … Americans still out of work because of the crisis, quit ignoring the reality of this pandemic and the horrifying loss of American life.’
‘Act. Lead. Lead. Or get out of the way so others can, Mr. President,’ Biden instructed.
The president also said that on a governors call with Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the coronavirus taskforce, not a single executive asked for medical supplies.
‘The relationship with the governors is very good,’ he said. ‘Mike Pence made a call just yesterday and said what do you need and not one governor needed anything.’
‘They don’t need anything. They have all the medical equipment they can have,’ Trump continued. ‘Thank you, U.S. government.’
However during Pence’s trip to Arizona Wednesday, the state’s governor did ask the U.S. government for 500 medical professionals to be deployed to the state to handle the spike in cases.
Trump’s remarks stood in contrast to the dire warnings being spouted over the last two weeks by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4 in the U.K., Fauci said the U.S. coronavirus lockdown had been lifted too soon and was never strict enough to begin with.
‘The problem we’re facing now is that an attempt to so-called reopen or open the government and get it back to some form of normality – we’re seeing very disturbing spikes in different individual states in the United States,’ Fauci said.
‘What we’ve seen over the last several days is a spike in cases that are well beyond the worst spikes that we’ve seen,’ he continued. ‘That is not good news, we’ve got to get that under control or we risk an even greater outbreak.’
Trump won’t be helping things over the next two days as he travels to South Dakota Friday to deliver remarks at Mt. Rushmore.
‘We’ll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one. But we won’t be social distancing,’ South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said in an interview with Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham on Monday.
Then, on Saturday, Trump will host his ‘Salute to America’ event on the White House South Lawn and on the Ellipse.
‘We’ve communicated with them that this is not in keeping with CDC and Department of Health guidance,’ complained D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.