The political restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic has left presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden unable to attend an in-person campaign rally in Wisconsin, and instead a virtual event for voters was held on May 20.

During his online speech aimed at Milwaukee residents, the former vice president slammed Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden denounced the lack of effort, saying Trump had “irresponsibly downplayed and delayed action on the virus” which could have prevented the needless loss of one hundred thousand American lives in two months.

“COVID-19 is not his fault, the failure to respond quickly is,” Biden said. “Think about how much pain could have been avoided if trump has wasted less time and moved quicker. We could have been deploying tests, gathering supplies to ensure every community was ready, and braced the public to act quickly to slow the spread. Instead, we got denials, delays, distractions, and boldfaced lies.”

Biden also criticized the economic policies that enriched Trump’s business interests at the expense of working people. He argued that the Trump administration had mishandled the distribution of relief funds, saying more should have been done to support small businesses – like City.Net Jazz Cafe in Milwaukee. Biden contended the president would never be up to the task of helping the American economy through the pandemic or in its aftermath.

“We know that Donald Trump has utterly failed this test of leadership. But it wasn’t just his failure over the past few months that brought us to this place. This crisis hit us harder and will last longer because he has spent the past 3 year undermining the our economic strength.” added Biden. “Why would anybody trust this man to build back our economy now? He thinks he’s a builder, but he’s a destroyer of everything he touches.”

Biden’s video stream originated from his home in Delaware, and he was joined by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore, local arts gallery owner Cynthia Henry, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin – whose name has been mentioned as a vice presidential contender.

“Milwaukee is the site of the Democratic National Convention this August, where we will officially nominate Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States. The choice in this election could not be more clear,” said Senator Baldwin. “When Joe Biden served as vice president, he helped successfully lead this country through an terrible economic crisis, so he stands ready to lead on day one. But, he also stands ready to lead with empathy.”

Wisconsin is considered one of the most critical swing states in the 2020 presidential election. Trump rallied Wisconsin voters at a Milwaukee campaign stop in January, and was scheduled to return in March when the COVID-19 outbreak cancelled it.

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Lee Matz

The Milwaukee Independent began reporting on what was then referred to as the mysterious “Wuhan Virus” in January 2020. Other local media did not picked-up on the story until many weeks later. Our early features focused on the economic impact, social issues, and health concerns long before other Milwaukee news organizations even mentioned the coronavirus. Over the following year, we have published hundreds of articles about the pandemic and how it has affected the lives of Milwaukee residents. This extensive body of work can be found on our COVID-19 Special Report page, a chronological index of links by month. Our editorial voice remains dedicated to informing the public about this health crisis for as long as it persists.
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