US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks about reopening schools amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Wilmington, Delaware, US, on September 2, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)
US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has hit out at President Donald Trump over his mishandling of the coronaviurs crisis, saying US schools would be opening safely if Trump had done his job handling the pandemic.
Biden said the president has "no plan" for a safe reopening, calling the virusí impact on education and the education gap a "national emergency".
"Heís offering nothing but failure and delusions. If President Trump and his administration had done their jobs early on in this crisis, American schools would be open, and theyíd be open safely."
"Mr. President, where are you? Why arenít you working on this? We need emergency support funding for our schools and we need it now. Mr. President, thatís your job," Biden addressed Trump directly during a news conference Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware.
"Get off Twitter and start talking to the congressional leaders. ... You always talk about your ability to negotiate. Negotiate a deal," Biden said, referring to the stalled negotiations on the latest coronavirus relief package.
Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.) have focused on schools and the pandemic as most Americans remain concerned about the coronavirus, which has killed more than 180,000 people in the US.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday showed the majority of Americans -- 78% -- remain "very" or "somewhat" concerned about the coronavirus.
Nearly 60% said Trump is at least partly responsible for the protracted school and business closures due to the virus, as well as for the high number of coronavirus cases in the United States.
More than 6 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19, more people than in any other country.
In his Wilmington remarks, Biden said Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos "havenít stepped up, and weíre all seeing the results."
"Millions of students are now starting the new school year in the same way they finished the last one - at home," the former vice president said.
The White House has said Trump is pushing to reopen schools - a position they still view as politically advantageous - and they are moving to heighten demands that local districts begin in-person instruction, The Washington Post said.
Trump is simply insisting that schools should reopen without articulating any clear plan of how they could safely return to in-person learning. Trump has threatened to cut off funding for schools that did not.
‘Our childrenís safety last thing on Trumpís mindí
Harris echoed Bidenís criticisms of the Trump administrationís handling of US school reopening during a virtual gathering of Minnesota leaders.
"Donald Trump is offering no real plan to help schools reopen safely, and heís refusing to do the work of getting the virus under control. His administration is attempting to bully schools into reopening without the support they need. Itís clear that our childrenís safety is the last thing on Donald Trumpís mind."
The California senator said Bidenís administration would direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make sure schools get relief funds
"None of this is going to be easy, but our kids are counting on us," Harris said. "And with the right leader in the White House, we can control this virus and reopen our schools and get our economy and your families back on their feet."
Trump has been trailing behind Biden in most US national opinion polls since the outbreak of the coronavirus this year.
A USA Today-Suffolk University poll released Wednesday showed Biden leads Trump, 50 percent to 43 percent.
Also in a national poll released Wednesday by Grinnell College and the polling firm Selzer & Company, Biden leads Trump, 49 percent to 41 percent.
In the Grinnell poll, Biden holds a large among non-White voters (64 percent to 23 percent). He also leads among city dwellers (58 percent to 35 percent) and suburban voters (58 percent to 35 percent).
SOURCE: PRESS TV