Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke again Tuesday, addressing the problem with personal protective equipment and the unwillingness of the president to wear a mask.
Biden joined the chorus of people saying that every person must wear a mask if we intend to prevail against the coronavirus. It’s a sentiment that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and even Vice President Mike Pence have advocated in the last several days.
“The crisis is real,” Biden said. “And it’s surging.”
“We need to do more, including hiring at least 100,000 federally funded workers to perform contact tracing and other public health tasks,” Biden said as part of his plan. “And they should begin to be trained now. Second, every single frontline worker should have the personal protective equipment that they need to be safe. Five months into this crisis and our health care workers still are forced to scramble for their own supplies. And have to reuse these masks shift after shift. Hundreds of health care workers have died from COVID-19 and tens of thousands have become infected. It should be zero on both counts for these health care workers if they had the right equipment.”
He noted that the U.S. is five months into the crisis and people still don’t have what they need.
“That’s why we have a Defense Production Act,” he continued. “You know, Mr. President, use your authority, Mr. President. Use it this week. Scale up the production of N95 masks. You know the steps you’ve taken so far haven’t gotten the job done, Mr. President. Fix the shortage of PPE for our health care workers before you tee off another round of golf. We can’t just look at where we are today. We’re into these masks and gloves and face shields for the foreseeable future and we need to be ready. We know more is coming.”
See a clip of Biden’s speech below: