Biden tweet from exactly one year ago warns US is ‘not prepared’ for a pandemic

Biden warned in a tweet last October that the US was not prepared for a pandemic (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik) (AP)

A tweet from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden from one year ago in which he made the claim the United States was “not prepared” for a pandemic has gone viral

“We are not prepared for a pandemic. Trump has rolled back progress President Obama and I made to strengthen global health security. We need leadership that builds public trust, focuses on real threats, and mobilises the world to stop outbreaks before they reach our shores,” Mr Biden wrote on 25 October, 2019.

Mr Biden made the tweet months before reports indicated there was a novel coronavirus spreading through China.

The Trump administration has faced backlash for its handlings of the coronavirus pandemic since cases were first reported in the US in February.

An interview with veteran journalist Bob Woodward revealed that President Donald Trump knew about the potential severity of Covid-19 back in January, but at the same time he was telling the American public it was not a problem.

“This is deadly stuff,” the president told Woodward during one interview on 7 February. “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”

Three days later, Mr Trump told a rally crowd it would “miraculously go away” by April.

The severity of the novel virus would not be known by most in America until March.

The Biden campaign has latched onto the Trump administration’s coronavirus failures in order to try and sway voters to pick Mr Biden in the upcoming presidential election.

President Barack Obama, who has been campaigning for his former vice president this past week, mentioned a “pandemic playbook” his administration left for Mr Trump upon leaving the White House.

“We literally left this White House a pandemic playbook,” Mr Obama said during a campaign rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday . “They probably used it to prop up a wobbly table somewhere.”

He added the coronavirus pandemic “would have been challenging for any president, but this idea that somehow this White House has done anything but completely screw this up is just not true.”

But it was clear, Mr Obama said, that the pandemic was being poorly managed in the US compared to other countries like South Korea and Canada.

“[South Korea’s] per capita death toll is just 1.3 per cent of what ours is. Canada is just 39 per cent of what ours is,” he said. South Korea and the US got their first confirmed Covid-19 cases on the same day.

“Other countries are struggling with the pandemic, but they’re not doing as bad as we are because they’ve got a government that’s actually been paying attention,” he said. 

Mr Obama added: “Donald Trump isn’t suddenly going to protect all of us. He can’t even take the basic steps to protect himself.”

In recent days, Mr Trump has claimed the US was “turning a corner” in the pandemic. But on Friday the country recorded its highest single-day number of new coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

Hospitalisations are also on the rise across at least 33 states.

Read more

Obama mocks Trump for walking out of 60 Minutes interview

Joe Biden slams Trump for not telling truth on Covid risks

Trump says ‘in many ways it’s foolish’ to test for Covid