Former vice president Joe Biden accused the White House of a “colossal” misstep over a lack of available coronavirus testing, and urged that the country dramatically increase its screening capacity.
“The administration’s failure on testing is colossal, and it’s a failure of leadership, planning and execution,” Biden stated. “By next week, the number of tests should be in the millions, not the thousands.”
Biden’s comments come after President Trump told reporters that “frankly, the testing is going very smooth.” But Republicans on Capitol Hill expressed their frustrations over testing after a bipartisan briefing by the CDC.
“We have a serious deficiency in being prepared for testing,” Senator Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.) said. “South Korea, for example, is doing a better job. We not only need a better system for later. We need a better system for now, and we’re going to focus on that as rapidly as we can.”
The former vice president also asserted that the stock market’s volatility was a reflection of Trump’s poor leadership. “The markets will respond to strong steady leadership that address root of problem, not efforts to cover it up,” he said. Biden added that the U.S. “should be leading coordinated global response just as we did to the ebola crisis.”
Following Biden’s remarks, Trump’s 2020 campaign released a statement criticizing Biden for past “terrible judgment and incompetence in the face of public health issues.”
“In times like this, America needs leadership and Biden has shown none. President Trump acted early and decisively and has put the United States on stronger footing than other nations. His every move has been aimed at keeping Americans safe, while Joe Biden has sought to capitalize politically and stoke citizens’ fears,” Tim Murtaugh, Trump’s communications director, said.