By JOHN VERHOVEK and MOLLY NAGLE, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — As the United States tops 3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, the most of any nation in the world, former vice president Joe Biden blasted President Donald Trump’s stewardship of the crisis and urged him to take concrete steps to stop the spread of the virus before he “tee[s] up for yet another round of golf.”
“Today’s awful — and avoidable — news that America surpassed three million COVID-19 cases is yet another sad reminder of the cost our country is paying for President Trump’s failure to lead us through this crisis,” Biden wrote in a statement provided to ABC News on Wednesday.
Biden, who has consistently criticized the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis, noted the recent spike in cases in numerous states across the country, asserted that Trump has “waved a white flag,” in the face of the ongoing challenge the virus presents.
“While other countries safely re-open their economies and their citizens get back to work, businesses in America are being forced to shut down — again — as Donald Trump’s failures make countless workers and families face an uncertain future,” the presumptive Democratic nominee wrote.
The state of Texas reported over 10,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time on Tuesday, a harrowing number that the state of Florida also reached last week as both states contend with significant COVID-19 outbreaks.
“The American people have sacrificed far too much in this fight for Donald Trump to just admit defeat; they’ve done their job, and it’s long overdue for their courageous efforts to be matched with real action and leadership from the White House,” Biden wrote.
“Mr. President, before you tee up for yet another round of golf, there are steps we must take — now — to win this fight and save American lives. We need to ramp up testing, get protective equipment to first responders, health care workers, and other essential workers, and we need to finally provide science-based leadership on re-opening safely,” Biden continued, taking aim at the president’s frequent golf habit.
The staggering new total of cases comes amid a recent spike in positive diagnoses, with 37 states reporting an increase in cases and 28 states reporting an increase in hospitalizations.
Biden slammed Trump for “devoting what energy he has left to dividing our nation, the opposite of a commander in chief’s duty at all times, let alone a moment of historic crisis.”
“It’s heart wrenching, especially because the American people, when brought together with common purpose, have never, ever let their country down. With the right leadership, we will overcome this emergency and build back stronger than we ever were before.”
President Trump again defended his administration’s strategy in combating the coronavirus on Tuesday, repeating his argument that if the United States carried out fewer tests, the nation would see fewer confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“Because we’re doing more testing, we have more cases. If we did half the tests, we would have far fewer cases but people don’t view it that way,” Trump said during a roundtable event at the White House on reopening the nation’s schools, during which he also falsely claimed the United States’ coronavirus mortality rate was “the lowest anywhere in the world.”
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