Washington, September 24
US President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden have clashed on the coronavirus pandemic, both putting forward their plans to bring America out of the worst health crisis if voted to power.
The US is the worst-affected country from the pandemic with over 2,00,000 Americans losing their lives to the disease. The virus has also battered the country’s economy with millions of people losing their jobs.
Trump, a Republican, and Biden are pitted against each other for the November 3 presidential election.
“Our plan will crush the virus. And actually, Biden’s plan will crush America, if you think about it. You can’t lock down. Again, we’re growing at levels that nobody has ever seen before. Our plan is unleashing a rapid recovery. Our opponent’s plan would hurt America very badly. It would send us into a depression,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday, asserting that his Democratic challenger would not have been able to handle the pandemic.
“Our approach is pro-science. Biden’s approach is anti-science. I don’t think they know what their approach is, although a lot of it’s copied from what we’ve done,” Trump said.
Talking about Johnson & Johnson announcing that their vaccine candidate has reached the final stage of clinical trials, Trump said, “this is record time. This is the fourth vaccine candidate in the United States to reach the final stage of trial. So, we have four candidates already at a very late date. ‘Late’ being a very positive word, in this case,” he said.
Trump also announced that his administration is awarding USD 200 million of CARES Act funding to all 50 states to prepare to distribute the vaccine to high-risk residents.
“We want to do that the instant it is approved—not the following day, but the following moment,” he said, adding that through Operation Warp Speed, the US also continues to accelerate life saving therapies.
“Biden opposed the China travel ban and the Europe travel ban. The strategy that they have was just never-ending lockdowns. We’re not locking down. We’re actually growing at a rate that we’ve never experienced before. But they’re talking about… just lock it down. We’re not doing that, and you can’t do that,” he said.
Meanwhile, speaking at a Black Economic Summit in North Carolina, Biden said, “the virus wasn’t his fault. But the way he’s handled it has been criminal.”
Biden alleged that Trump has failed in handling the coronavirus crisis as a result of which innocent lives have been lost.
He said that if he’s elected, small businesses would get the personal protective equipment and relief they need.
The former vice president alleged that Trump “is on tape” knowing how bad the coronavirus pandemic would be and that the US president “didn’t say a thing.”
According to the excerpts of a new book ‘Rage’ released by its author and renowned US investigative journalist Bob Woodward earlier this month, Trump had acknowledged downplaying the dangers of the deadly novel coronavirus as he did not want to create panic,
The book is being described by the publisher as an “unprecedented” and “intimate tour de force” of new reporting on the Trump presidency that is facing a pandemic, economic disaster and racial unrest.
“I wanted to, I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told Woodward in March, a recording of which was released by the 77-year-old veteran journalist to ‘The Washington Post’. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.” PTI