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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Monday criticized President Donald Trump for using daily press briefings with the White House coronavirus task force as an opportunity to lash out at the media and political rivals rather than “inform and reassure” the public about the government response to the virus.
Biden addressed the U.S. response to the new coronavirus outbreak in a livestream video from Wilmington, Delaware.
“I hope today and in the days ahead the president will give us the unvarnished truth. That’s what the American people deserve,” Biden said. He added that he hoped the president would give the public more opportunities to hear from medical experts and leaders of agencies such as FEMA directly.
Biden also criticized the Trump administration for what he said was a slow response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and expressed concern about a lack of access to health care and medical supplies in the U.S.
“The federal government needs to coordinate getting medical supplies out to every corner of the country so we don’t have governors competing against one another,” Biden said. He also spoke about negotiations to pass an economic rescue plan for Americans affected by the coronavirus outbreak, saying the $500 billion slush fund for corporations proposed by Republicans does not go far enough to protect U.S. workers.
Biden, who is leading Sen. Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic nomination by 300 delegates, has suspended public events and rallies for the time being amid concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the U.S. In lieu of these events, his campaign has started to organize virtual town halls and phone banking.
Earlier on Monday, Biden released a letter calling on Trump and state elected officials to drop California v. Texas, a challenge to the Affordable Care Act that the Supreme Court said it would consider this term.
“This is not the moment to add additional uncertainty and fear into this nation,” Biden said in his virtual remarks.
Courtney Vinopal is a general assignment reporter at the PBS NewsHour.
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