By AVERI HARPER, ABC News
(WILMINGTON, Del.) — Former Vice President Joe Biden is slated to offer remarks about the state of the economy from Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday.
Biden’s speech will zero in on the economic fallout from COVID-19 and will describe President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic as worsening the effects of the economic downturn, according to Biden’s campaign. The remarks come after the Bureau of Labor statistics released jobs numbers for August showing that U.S. employers added 1.4 million jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 8.4% and after the U.S. stock indices took at deep dive Thursday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 807 points, or approximately 2.8%, at the close. The S&P 500 slipped more than 3.5% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 4.9%.
Trump touted the jobs numbers Friday on Twitter, saying “Great Jobs Numbers! 1.37 Million Jobs Added In August. Unemployment Rate Falls To 8.4% (Wow, much better than expected!). Broke the 10% level faster and deeper than thought possible.” Still, the unemployment rate isn’t anywhere near pre-pandemic levels. In February, the unemployment rate was 3.5%.
Biden and his campaign have consistently painted Trump as a danger to the safety and livelihood of Americans. In remarks Monday, Biden tied simultaneous crises — the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic fallout from the pandemic and police-related violence — to Trump’s tenure.
“The common thread? An incumbent president who makes things worse, not better,” Biden said Monday during a speech in Pittsburgh. “An incumbent president who sows chaos rather than providing order.”
During those remarks, Biden said Americans are living in fear directly because of the president’s inaction.
“Mr. Trump, you want to talk about fear? If you know what people are afraid of in America? Afraid they’re going to get COVID. Afraid they’re going to get sick and die and that’s, in no small part, because of you,” he said.
Biden’s “Build Back Better” economy plan focuses on a domestic manufacturing and innovation strategy that the campaign says will create 5 million new jobs in addition to the jobs lost due to the coronavirus pandemic. The plan, the campaign says, is not just a response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has decimated parts of the American economy, but is also a broader roadmap to a more equitable economy.
Biden’s plan also proposes investment in green energy and jobs, pledges more affordable child care for families and includes promises of higher wages and benefits for workers. It pledges support to small business owners, extends unemployment benefits and contains a host of proposals to address racial equity, racial gaps in homeownership and wealth.
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