Former Vice President Joe Biden said Friday that an economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic looks "a long way away."
In an interview with CNBC's "Squawk Box," the apparent Democratic presidential nominee criticized the 2017 Republican tax cuts and questioned how the U.S. could use the lost revenue as it tries to lift a devastated economy. More than 38 million people have filed jobless claims since states started widespread lockdowns to slow the virus, and GDP is expected to go into freefall in the second quarter.
"Imagine if we had that $2 trillion now as we go into, God willing, a recovery which is a long way away as I see it right now," Biden told CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin.
He spoke during an unprecedented presidential election where the pandemic and economic collapse — and President Donald Trump's response to them — have overshadowed any other issue. The virus has forced both major party candidates to stop in-person events for more than two months as the incumbent tries to defend a virus response critics such as Biden have called sluggish and inadequate.
Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) speaks about the Coronavirus and the response to it at the Hotel Du Pont in Wilmington, DE.
Michael Brochstein | Barcroft Media | Getty Images
"His slowness is costing lives and costing jobs and costing our ability to rebound," the former vice president said Friday.
The U.S. has reported more than 1.5 million Covid-19 cases, and the disease has led to more than 94,000 deaths nationwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
As the president and many of his GOP allies push to restart businesses now to boost growth, Biden said "the way to fix the economy is get the public health response correct."
Trump's rival in the 2020 election condemned the president's GOP party for its reluctance to send more relief money to state and local governments, some of which could struggle to pay first responders or teachers as they face budget crunches.
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