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Biden slams Trump response to coronavirus epidemic: This is no time for "fearmongering"

Biden slams Trump response to coronavirus epidemic: This is no time for "fearmongering"
© Greg Nash

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Biden transition adds new members to coronavirus task force MORE hammered President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE for cutting health programs amid an outbreak of the coronavirus that originated in China and has since spread to the U.S.

“We have, right now, a crisis with the coronavirus,” Biden said in Iowa Friday. “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia - hysterical xenophobia - and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science.” 

The former vice president accused the president of curtailing progress on global health oversight that was made during the Obama administration. 

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Biden cited “draconian cuts” to the budgets of agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Trump campaign fired back at Biden’s comments, telling Reuters the president “is listening to medical and scientific experts and taking every responsible precaution to protect the American people.” 

The Trump administration declared a public health emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected nearly 10,000 people worldwide. Most of the cases of the coronavirus have been contained to China, but twelve individuals in six countries have contracted the virus without ever having traveled to China.

The CDC has identified six cases of the coronavirus in the U.S.