Washington: Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee and former US vice president Joe Biden alleged on Friday that President Donald Trump utterly failed to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic and said his entire economic strategy is focussed on helping the wealthy and big corporations.
Referring to the record 2.05 crore jobs lost in April alone, resulting in an unprecedented unemployment rate of 14.7 per cent now — the highest since the Great Depression — Biden, in a major policy speech, said it is an economic disaster, worse than any in decades, and it was made all the more worse because it did not have to be this way.
“Donald Trump utterly failed to prepare for this pandemic and delayed in taking the necessary steps to safeguard our nation against the near-worst-case economic scenario we are now living in,” he said in his remarks on “Trump’s Disastrous Economy”.
COVID-19 caused a massive economic challenge, but the crisis hit the US harder and will last longer because Trump spent the last three years undermining the core pillars of the American economic strength, Biden alleged.
Many small businesses have closed because of the stay-at-home orders. But a lot of them will not open again as they do not have a cushion due to three years of Trump’s policies that reward the biggest companies, he rued.
“Trump’s economic agenda has three unmistakable failings, failings that have been present since day one, but are coming into sharp relief in the current crisis: first, Trump’s main measure of economic progress is the state of the stock market, second, his entire economic strategy is focussed on helping the wealthy and big corporations.
“Third, Trump claimed he would fight for the forgotten middle class and as soon as he got into office, he forgot them,” the former vice president said.
According to Biden, this pandemic has laid bare exactly how much damage Trump has done in just over three years.
“Because Trump has gotten the virus response wrong. The jobs and unemployment numbers are just the beginning, his mistakes will also mean it takes more time to recover from this,” he said.
“We are already seeing the tell-tale hallmarks of Trump-o-nomics in the way he is implementing the crisis response efforts: no strings, no oversight, no accountability. I have started to think of it as the Corrupt Recovery,” Biden said.
He alleged that the Treasury Department allowed corporations with connections to go right to the front of the line — they got concierge service.
“Meanwhile, the mom and pop shops that needed help the most got shut out. More than 40 per cent of the initial funding designed to support small businesses did not go to real small businesses at all. The single-largest recipient of small-business money was a hotel executive and a major Trump donor,” he said.
In the coming weeks, Biden said, he will be laying out a detailed plan for the right kind of economic recovery. The plan, he noted, starts with rebuilding the backbone of this country: a stronger, more inclusive, more resilient middle class — a middle class that can withstand the next public health crisis or whatever else comes its way.
“It is time we make sure everyone gets a fair shot at success,” he said.