Joe Biden comes out swinging at Trump for denigrating veterans, bungling pandemic and supporting QAnon
Donald Trump keeps pretending that Joe Biden is “hiding” somewhere. In the meantime, a very much not hidden Biden is making frequent media appearances to directly address issues of the economy, handling the pandemic, and repairing all the damage that Trump has created in the last four years. On Friday, Biden appeared again for a speech and press conference, taking questions directly from the gathered reporters. That included taking a question about Trump attacking him for wearing a mask. “It’s hard to respond to something so idiotic,” said Biden.
And Biden had something to say about Trump’s denigration of veterans. “Let me be real clear. When my son was an assistant U.S. attorney and he volunteered to go to Kosovo, when the war was going on, as a civilian, he wasn’t ‘a sucker.’ When my son volunteered to join the United States military as the attorney general, went to Iraq for a year, and won the Bronze Star and other commendations, he wasn’t ‘a sucker.’ The service men and women he served with, particularly those who did no come home, were not losers.”
“If these statements are true,” said Biden, “the president should humbly apologize to every Gold Star mother and father, and to every Blue Star family that he’s denigrated and insulted. Who the heck does he think he is?”
Before taking questions from the press, Biden focused primarily on the growing gaps in the economy, with working class people taking the brunt of the damage from the pandemic while the wealthy rack up gains on the stock market. Biden said he welcomed the latest report of some jobs coming back, but also pointed out how lower income workers are being placed at high risk, because they have no choice. Trump, said Biden, has utterly failed to do his job as the nation faced the pandemic.
“The economic inequities that began before the downturn have only worsened under this failed presidency,” said Biden. “When the crisis started, we all hoped for a few months of a shutdown that would be followed by rapid economic turnaround. No one thought they’d lose a job for good or see small businesses shut down en masse. But that kind of recovery requires leadership, leadership we didn’t have and still don’t have.” He also argued that Trump’s “malpractice” during the pandemic “is still holding us back.”
And Biden pointed out that Trump’s failure—worst in the world in both cases in deaths—was not a foregone conclusion. “We all know it didn’t have to be this bad,” said Biden. “... Bottom line, Mr. President: Do your job, get off your golf course and out of the sand bunker. Call leaders together in the Oval Office, sit with them, and make a deal. Make a deal that delivers for working Americans.”
But it was when during the questions from reporters that Biden showed he was more than willing to swing hard at Trump. Following up on the question about wearing a mask, Biden said, “I’m a smart fella. I listen to scientists.“ Biden also mentioned that “some reports say there’s another 100,000 dead” by the end of the year, referencing the updated University of Washington IHME projections that actually call for 220,000 more deaths by January 1 … though that number could be dropped by 120,000 if everyone wore masks.
Biden also had something to say about the number of Trump supporters who buy into QAnon and its increasing position at the center of Republican politics. "What in God's name are we doing?” he asked. “Look at how it makes us look around the world. It's mortifying. It's embarrassing, and it's dangerous. If the president doesn't know better, which he has to know better, then, my Lord, we're in much more trouble than I ever thought we were."
And Biden had some suggestions for people who are QAnon believers. "I've been a big supporter of mental health. I'd recommend people who believe it, maybe should take advantage, while it still exists, of the Affordable Care Act." Then he brought it back to Trump. “The words of a president matter. Even a lousy president," said Biden. “[Trump’s support of QAnon] gives encouragement to people who are spouting irrational views that no one is even close to presuming or showing ever existed."