The Trump campaign went after former Vice President Joe Biden Thursday for causing “panic during the swine flu outbreak in 2009.”
During an April 2009 appearance on NBC’s “Today” show, Biden said he advised his family to avoid flying or being in confined spaces because of the outbreak.
“I would tell members of my family – and I have – I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now. It’s not that it’s going to Mexico in a confined aircraft where one person sneezes, that goes all the way through the aircraft,” said the former vice president.
The Obama administration then apologized for Biden’s comments at a press conference later that day.
Joe Biden will again politicize coronavirus today. But his record on pandemics is one of incompetence.
During the 2009 swine flu outbreak, Biden made reckless comments unsupported by science & the experts.
The Obama Admin had to clean up his mess & apologize for his ineptitude. pic.twitter.com/5TCKZeShkz
— Trump War Room – Text EMPOWER to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) March 12, 2020
“In the past, Joe Biden has shown terrible judgment and incompetence in the face of public health issues. The Obama White House had to publicly apologize for and clean up after Biden when his irresponsible remarks caused panic during the swine flu outbreak in 2009. Just weeks ago, he was openly critical of President Trump’s early move to restrict travel from China to the United States in response to the coronavirus – a decision which medical experts agree helped impede the spread of the virus to this country,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement.
Biden delivered an address Thursday afternoon from Delaware outlining how he would respond to the coronavirus – the day after President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office.
“Unfortunately, this virus laid bare the severe shortcomings of the current administration. Public fears are being compounded by pervasive lack of trust in this president,” Biden said during his speech.
I'm about to address the nation on how we should confront the corona virus pandemic. Tune in to watch live: https://t.co/OdaeTNw40B
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) March 12, 2020
His plan called for making testing free and establishing mobile sites and drive-thru facilities in every state. He also called for emergency paid leave for hourly workers affected by the coronavirus.
“Neither should we panic or fallback on xenophobia,” he said. “Labeling COVID-19 a ‘foreign virus’ does not displace accountability for the misjudgments that have been taken thus far by the Trump administration. Let me be crystal clear: the coronavirus does not have a political affiliation.”
Murtaugh further criticized the Biden campaign for peddling the “vile conspiracy theory that the president purposely allowed the coronavirus to spread.”
“In times like this, America needs leadership and Biden has shown none,” he added. “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.”
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