Saying "this virus laid bare the severe shortcomings of the current administration," Joe Biden presented his plan for stopping the new coronavirus while contrasting it point-by-point with President Trump's actions. The Democratic presidential candidate gave his address in Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday, the day after Trump spoke to the nation from the Oval Office about the steps he's taking to slow the spread of the virus. "Downplaying it, being overly dismissive, or spreading misinformation is only going to hurt us and further advantage the spread of the disease," Biden said. He added that the nation shouldn't panic or turn to xenophobia, either, NBC reports. "Labeling COVID-19 a foreign virus"—as the president did in his speech—"does not displace accountability for the misjudgments that have been taken thus far by the Trump administration," Biden said.
The former vice president called for making coronavirus tests for individuals free and more widely available, suggesting mobile sites and drive-through testing centers in each state, per the Hill. Testing in the US lags behind other countries, which Biden called a "colossal" failure of the Trump administration. Biden's campaign released a statement at the same time saying all cost barriers to preventive care and treatment of COVID-19, the disease the virus causes, should be removed. "We will lead by science," Biden said. His campaign has taken the steps of canceling a rally scheduled for Thursday night and making two upcoming events online only. Starting Saturday, per the Washington Post, all Biden campaign employees will work from home. The Trump campaign answered Biden's speech with a defense of the president's decisions. "His every move has been aimed at keeping Americans safe," an aide said, "while Joe Biden has sought to capitalize politically and stoke citizens' fears." (Read more coronavirus stories.)