Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden said Thursday President Trump is on a “heartless crusade” to strip away health care coverage from millions of Americans at a time when they could need it most.
The former vice president said the Trump administration’s push to gut Obamacare could jeopardize the coverage of people who contract the coronavirus.
“They would live their lives caught in the vice between Donald Trump’s twin legacies: his failure to protect the American people from the coronavirus, and his heartless crusade to take health care protections away from American families,” Mr. Biden said during a speech in Lancaster, Pa.
The Trump administration filed a brief Thursday in the Supreme Court supporting the legal push to strike down the Affordable Care Act.
“I think it is cruel, it is heartless, it is callous,” Mr. Biden said. “It is all because in my view he can’t abide by the thought of letting stand one of President Obama’s greatest achievements — the Affordable Care Act.”
Mr. Biden said that he wants to push the nation toward universal coverage by building upon Obamacare with a public health care option.
He said that could help drive down costs and improve access to insurance.
Mr. Biden reiterated his criticism of Mr. Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, including the lack of testing, and his stated desire to slow down testing.
“He thinks that finding out more Americans are sick will make him look bad,” Mr. Biden said. “That is what he is worried about. He is worried about looking bad.
“Well Donald Trump needs to stop caring about how he looks, and start caring about what is happening in the rest of America,” he said.
Mr. Biden said coronavirus cases are on the rise in 29 states and the president “can’t wish it away.”
“There are no miracles coming,” Mr. Biden said, alluding to comments Mr. Trump’s comments in February that “like a miracle,” the coronavirus would disappear.
Mr. Biden advocated that people wear masks and focus on social distancing. He said Mr. Trump wants the public to believe that they must choose between protecting the economy and protecting public health.
“Amazingly he still hasn’t grasped the most basic fact of this crisis, to fix the economy we have to get control over the virus,” he said.
“He’s like a child who can’t believe this has happened to him — all his whining and self-pity,” he said. “This pandemic didn’t happen to him, it happened to all of us, and his job is not to whine about it, his job is to do something about it, to lead.”