'Nothing can cover up how he failed': Biden rips Trump ahead of Phoenix visit
By: Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, Arizona Republic (MSN)
Now we know. President Joe firmly believes that insurance companies are the gatekeepers controlling access to health care. Joe Biden, like his mentor, is more concerned over the financial well being of the for-profit health care system than the health of Americans.
For President Joe it's all about the money. Maybe President Joe should consider Mitt Romney as a running mate.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ripped President Donald Trump's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic ahead of Trump's Tuesday visit to Phoenix, saying he worsened the health crisis by denying expanded insurance coverage.
Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, hit Trump for not opening enrollment in the Affordable Care Act, as Gov. Doug Ducey recommended.
In a statement first shared with The Arizona Republic, Biden, a former vice president, said Trump's visit to the battleground state of Arizona would not distract from his failure to respond to the spread of the deadly coronavirus, which has killed at least 65,000 people in the U.S., infected more than 1 million and shut down most of the nation's economy.
Biden's criticism is aimed to preempt Trump as he prepares to showcase production of N95 masks at a Honeywell facility near the Phoenix airport.
"President Trump will try to paper over his administration's failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic when he travels today to Arizona — but nothing can cover up how he failed to prepare our country for this pandemic and his slow response," Biden said in a written statement.
Biden added: "Grandstanding isn't going to help Arizonans get the resources they need to move forward. What we need is action."
Trump has defended his response and blamed others — including the World Health Organization — for not moving quickly enough to sound the alarm over the coronavirus threat.
Despite his defense, experts in epidemiology and economics have told USA TODAY the nation would have been better prepared to handle the pandemic if efforts to secure medical equipment, increase testing and shore up the economy had started in January, when the president was reportedly provided warnings from intelligence officials and aides that the virus would spread through the U.S.
In response to Biden's criticism, Trump Victory spokeswoman Samantha Zager praised the president's response, saying it was a sharp contrast to Biden's campaigning.
"In his response to coronavirus, President Trump has helped save over 900,000 Arizona jobs with the Paycheck Protection Program, approved federal funding for the state as well as a Major Disaster Declaration, and empowered private sector companies like Honeywell to create personal protective equipment and new jobs for Arizonans," Zager said in a written statement. "While Joe Biden is sending statements from his basement, President Trump is taking action."
Biden, who is campaigning from his home in Delaware, urged Trump to reconsider Ducey's request for a special health care enrollment period during the pandemic. Ducey, a Republican, made the request back in March, saying it would cut unneeded red tape and help those who are struggling.
"He put politics over the well-being of Arizonans," Biden said of Trump. "He refused to expand access to health care during a public health crisis. That does nothing to mitigate the spread of this virus or keep American families safe. … That isn't leadership."
Biden also called on Trump to invoke the full weight of the Defense Production Act to manufacture medical equipment for front-line workers and responders and fast-track testing equipment needed to safely reopen the economy.
Biden is beginning to build up his campaign operation in Arizona. He has not visited the state as a candidate; he scrapped earlier plans to spend time in the state ahead of the March Democratic debate after the debate was moved from Phoenix to Washington, D.C., as the outbreak worsened.