Americans are frightened over the coronavirus epidemic and looking for leadership that they aren't getting with President Donald Trump, presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden said Thursday.
"What bothers me so much is that the president of the United States doesn't take responsibility," Biden said in an extended interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "The president of the United States acts like this is not -- nothing is his fault. Nothing is his responsibility . . . I must tell you, it drives me crazy. I don't know what he doesn't understand about people's fears."
Biden said he's also concerned about calls to reopen the United States, saying they are coming much too soon. He also called on Trump to further use the Defense Production Act to roll out the tests and medical supplies the United States still needs to fight the epidemic.
"We should not send you back to work until it is safe to send you back to work," said Biden. "This is a false choice. The way you revive the economy is you defeat the disease...social distancing has to continue."
The idea that coronavirus won't flare up again is "preposterous," he added. "What I would be doing is convening the top experts in the country all together, including the private sector and say, "Okay, what are you going to be doing in your place of business that in fact if we do open up."
Biden added that if he was in office, he would have a supply commander to determine what the entire supply chain is, and he would establish a pandemic testing board to "finally solve the testing problem."
"I would have the private and public laboratories collaborating to move rapidly on testing," he said. "I would open up enrollment, a period for the Affordable Care Act...I would collect more data on what is happening in African-American and minority communities where the death rate is alarming in those areas."
Biden's wife, Jill, also in the interview, added that "first and foremost" the experts need to be heard.
As an educator, she said she also appreciates that parents are now involved in their children's education.
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