Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for president, tore into Republican President Donald Trump at a campaign stop in Warren, Michigan.
That's after tapes revealed that the president knew far more about the dangers of COVID-19 than he told the American public.
The tapes, released Wednesday, were made by author and journalist Bob Woodward in preparation for a book. In tapes made in February and March, Trump talked frankly with Woodward about the grave dangers of COVID-19, including that it was transmitted through the air, that it infected younger people, and was much worse than the flu.
That's in contrast to statements he made at the time publicly: that criticism of his response to COVID-19 was the Democrats' "new hoax," that COVID-19 was no worse than the flu, and that it would not be a problem and would soon disappear.
Biden called Trump's failures a "life and death betrayal of the American people," as the number of deaths from COVID-19 surpass 190,000 in the U.S. so far.
"He knew how deadly it was, it was much more deadly than the flu," Biden said. "He knew and purposely played it down. Worse, he lied to the American people."
Biden also announced new manufacturing policy proposals he will introduce should he become president, including:
- a tax credit for Americans to trade in older, more polluting vehicles for electric cars, and convert the federal vehicle fleet to electric vehicles
- a 10% penalty on companies that offshore jobs, produce goods, and then import them back into the country for sale
- a tax credit for companies that bring jobs back from overseas, or make investments in the U.S. that create jobs
- ending the practice of granting waivers of federal contracts to companies that make products and services overseas
- setting up an office in the White House specifically to oversee federal contracts given under the Buy American Act
Biden said these policies would create one million new jobs in the U.S., many of them high-paying union jobs, and that he would be the "best, most friendly" union president if elected.
Biden's campaign stop was attended by officials of the United Auto Workers, although not, as planned, by its president, Rory Gamble, who said a family member had come in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.