Joe Biden proposes testing and paid sick leaves for workers in detailed plan to restart economy post lockdown
The former vice president, who has gradually resumed in-person meetings, said Trump may have forgotten about the disease but it hasn't forgotten America
Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday, June 11, came up with a comprehensive plan to restart the economy and protect public health during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. His plan includes federally funded testing for each worker who has rejoined work, providing guaranteed paid sick leave for those employees who have been affected by Covid-19 and a federally coordinated workforce to contract tracing.
Biden's prospects for the November 3 election have gone up vis-a-vis President Donald Trump especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic which has hit both public health and the economy. The outbreak of riots in the wake of the brutal death of George Floyd has also put his administration under the scanner. The former vice president has taken this opportunity to present his vision before the people of America.
Biden gradually resumes in-person meetings
"Trump may have forgotten about the coronavirus, but it hasn't forgotten about us," the 77-year-old Biden said at the front of a horseshoe-shaped table at a community center in West Philadelphia. "The failure to respond to the pandemic, I think the federal government has abdicated any effective leadership role." Biden stopped at the Enterprise Center in West Philadelphia on Thursday, June 11, to kick off the eight-part plan for the country's safe reopening.
He has slowly resumed physical campaigning, mostly within driving distance from his home in Wilmington, Delaware. This was Biden's second Philadelphia visit this month. Last week, he slammed Trump's response to protests outside the White House and across the country against police brutality during a visit there. Earlier this month, Biden also met black faith leaders in Wilmington, his first in-person meeting with outsiders in over two months.
Biden said he would also ask the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to enforce standard workplace safety norms and that he plans to set up a public health job corps with state, tribal and local officials to conduct contact tracing. He met leaders from the black community and business owners. The plan includes requirements like funding for small businesses to help restart recruitment and steps for reopening school and day-care centers.
"We need all the things that need to be done to make sure you are safe, your customers and safe and your employees are safe is, in the meantime paid for by the federal government. This is a crisis. If we don't do that, it's going to cost the government a lot more down the road,” Biden said, with his mask dangling from his left ear.
After a prolonged tussle with the federal administration, a number of states and cities across the US have started easing restrictions and reopening the economy even as Covid-19 has continued to plague the nation. While the coronavirus has so far affected more than two million people in the US, over 113,000 have died. Millions have also lost their jobs even though the situation has shown improvement in May. People have started returning to work but yet the economic downturn has left the leadership, business sector and common man deeply worried.
Trump also has started his in-person events. On Thursday, he went to Dallas and is set to attend a rally in Tulsa on June 19.