Biden calls Trump ‘completely oblivious’ in touting jobs report

Biden says any president who doesn’t take responsibility for massive job losses deserves no credit when a fraction of those jobs return.

Former Vice President Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden (DoD News photo by EJ Hersom)

In his second public address this week, Biden panned President Trump’s comments outside the White House Friday morning on the news that employers added 2.5 million jobs in May. “This is a rocket ship,” Trump said outside the White House Friday morning. “Now we’re opening and we’re opening with a bang.” Despite May’s gains, U.S. unemployment remains extremely high at 13.3%.

In a speech at Delaware State University in Dover, Biden said Trump’s comments were similar to President George W. Bush speaking in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner in 2003 celebrating the end of major combat in in Iraq. “Donald Trump is patting himself on the back. He just has no idea, in my view, of what’s going on in this country,” he said. “He has no idea the depth of the pain that so many people are still enduring, and remains completely oblivious to the human toll of his indifference.”

The U.S. has 25% of the world’s coronavirus cases despite making up just 4% of the world’s population. Biden said that’s proof the Trump administration mishandled the pandemic response. “For months, he downplayed the threat, falsely promising that ‘everyone was going to be able to get a test.’ Claiming that ‘like a miracle, this will disappear,’” Biden said. “This failure didn’t just cost lives, it cost jobs.”

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Biden said he delayed plans to unveil his economic platform following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. He said public health will be a key element of that plan “to make sure tests are available and they’ll be able to be traced,” Biden said.

He said the plan will be anchored in investing in small businesses, infrastructure, and “rewiring the faulty structures of our economy to ensure dignity and equality for all American workers.” Biden said there’s a monumental amount of work. “Simply tweeting slogans like ‘transition to greatness’ won’t solve anything for the families that are hurting,” Biden said.

Biden’s second public address this week could signify a shift in the campaign’s strategy as the nation starts to reopen from coronavirus restrictions. Until this week, Biden made campaign appearances virtually from a makeshift studio built in his Wilmington home. On Memorial Day, Biden was joined by his wife Jill as he laid a wreath at the Veterans Memorial Park near the Delaware Memorial Bridge in New Castle. On Tuesday, Biden delivered a speech at City Hall in Philadelphia calling on Congress to approve police reforms in light of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police.

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