Joe Biden in an interview on MSNBC.
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged governors to “listen to Dr. Fauci” as they reopen their states’ economies while the coronavirus continues to spread.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist and a key member of President Donald Trump’s White House coronavirus task force, is expected to publicly warn states Tuesday that prematurely reopening their economies will cause “needless suffering and death.”
President Donald Trump has been urging states to reopen businesses to prop up the U.S. economy, which has been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden, the 2020 apparent Democratic nominee, said that if he were president at this time, he would advise governors to consider Fauci’s warnings in their plans for reopening states.
“We’re in a situation where there’s a great crisis. Dr. Fauci talks about if we open needlessly or open soon, there’s gonna be needless deaths and we have to have things in place. Everybody wants to open,” Biden said in a “Good Morning America” interview.
“The governors want to open. But they want to open in a rational way. The president hasn’t done his work. The president hasn’t done what he’s supposed to do.”
Biden went on, scorching Trump for claiming that “anybody who wants a test gets a test” in March.
Health officials have warned about a shortage of tests across the country. That shortage, along with tight restrictions on who can be tested, has allowed infected people to go undetected and further spread it, health officials have said.
“Anyone can’t get a test around the country,” Biden said.
The former vice president also unleashed a withering attack on Trump’s response to the outbreak and pandemic.
“Granted, more tests are coming forward but look, this needless complacency the president has engaged in from the very beginning. He knew about this crisis all the way back in January and February,” Biden said. “He’s been incompetent the way in which he’s responded to it. We have 80,000 deaths. We have more of the virus than any nation in the world. What’s the story here? I mean, come on. This is just fantasy land that he’s talking about.”
As Biden was giving his interview, Trump unleashed a tweetstorm in which he defended the U.S. response to the coronavirus.
“Our Testing is the BEST in the World, by FAR! Numbers are coming down in most parts of our Country, which wants to open and get going again. It is happening, safely!” Trump tweeted.
The White House declined to comment. Trump’s 2020 campaign has not responded to a request for comment from CNBC.
The outbreak has spread to dozens of countries globally, with more than 4.1 million confirmed cases worldwide and over 286,336 deaths so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. There are at least 1.3 million cases in the United States and at least 79,528 deaths, according to the latest tallies.