- The Washington Times - Friday, May 8, 2020

Joseph R. Biden said Friday President Trump’s ham-handed response to the coronavirus has helped to steer the nation into a Great Depression-like economic tailspin.

Mr. Biden said Mr. Trump “utterly failed” to prepare for COVID-19 and said the virus has “laid bare” the damage Mr. Trump has done by pursuing policies that tilted the playing in favor of the wealthy and big businesses.

“COVID-19 caused a massive economic challenge,” Mr. Biden said, according to prepared remarks. “But this crisis hit us harder, and will last longer, because Donald Trump spent the last three years undermining the core pillars of our economic strength.”

The Labor Department said Friday the nation’s unemployment rate climbed to 14.7 in April and 20.5 million jobs were lost, marking the worst jobless numbers on record.

It is creating big political challenges for Mr. Trump, and provided an opening for Mr. Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who leads Mr. Trump in most polls.

Mr. Biden said Friday mom and pop businesses have suffered closed because of the coronavirus but said many of them won’t survive because they “do not have a cushion due to three years of Trump’s policies that reward the biggest companies.”

“Trump has loved to crow about the great economy he built,” he said. “But when the crisis hit, it became clear who that economy has been built to serve. Not workers. Not the middle class. Not families.”

Mr. Biden said that if he is elected he plans to take the nation in a different direction, guided a vision anchored in lifting up the working-class families and the middle-class.

“It’s time we make sure everyone gets a fair shot at success, not just the Mar-a-Lago crowd,” he said.

Mr. Biden said all workers should have paid sick leave and child care support.

He vowed to bolster unions and collective bargaining, strengthen the education system, reduce racial inequalities and expand access to affordable health care.

Mr. Biden said Mr. Trump has failed to deliver on numerous campaign promises, including his pledges to stop the offshoring of jobs overseas, put $1 trillion into infrastructure projects and expand child care services.

Mr. Biden said Mr. Trump was slow to respond to the coronavirus because he wanted to protect the stock market and his allies.

“He will pick his wealthy friends, his corporate cronies, over working families every time,” Mr. Biden said.

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