Oct. 26 (UPI) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made a campaign stop Monday at an early polling location in the Philadelphia suburb of Chester, Penn., where he said President Donald Trump had given up on the war on COVID-19.
“[White House chief of staff] Mark Meadows went on television to admit to the country that the administration wasn’t even trying to deal with the pandemic,” Biden said. “Trump called himself a wartime president in a war against an invisible enemy… well, he waved the white flag,” Biden said.
Biden went on to allege that Trump, “either doesn’t have any idea what to do, or he just doesn’t care.”
The number of U.S. COVID-19 cases has spiked in the last two weeks to more than 300,000 new cases reported in the past four days. The United States leads the world with 225,300 deaths and 8.64 million cases since the virus was first reported.
Biden criticized Trump’s assertion at campaign rallies that doctors were “being paid more” if they characterized fatalities as resulting from the coronavirus.
“What the hell is the matter with this man?” Biden asked, noting the medical staff had “given their lives trying to save lives.”
Biden criticized Trump for continuing to hold “super spreader” public events during the pandemic and said billions of dollars of federal aid already passed by Congress should be approved for rapid testing and safety measures that would allow schools and businesses to re-open.
Trump stumped elsewhere in the state Monday, telling crowds at three different rallies that Biden would “abolish” the fossil fuel industry.
Biden countered Monday by saying, “Let me make it clear, I’m not shutting down oil fields and I’m not eliminating fracking. I’m investing in clean energy and we’ll make sure we don’t continue to subsidize pollution.”
Pennsylvania, and its 20 electoral votes, are essential in the path to victory for either the Democrats or Republicans this election.
The state went for Trump in 2016 by about 44,000 votes, less than 1% of the 6 million ballots cast. In 2008 and 2012, Pennsylvania voted for Barack Obama. Obama campaigned for Biden in Pennsylvania last week.
Biden, who was born and spent his boyhood in Scranton, Penn., said winning the state would “mean a lot to me personally.”
Early voting in Pennsylvania is favoring the Democrats more than 3 to 1 as of this week, with Democrats returning 1,193,887 ballots, Republicans returning 355,317 and Independents returning 152,057, according to the U.S. Election Project website.
With eight days to go until the election, Biden said he would be visiting Iowa, Wisconsin, Georgia and Florida in the next week.
“You know me, I am not overconfident about anything. I just want to make sure we can earn every vote possible,” Biden said.
Watch Joe Biden in Pennsylvania: