Democratic US presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden promised on Friday that a future coronavirus vaccine would be “free for everyone” as part of his national plan to fight the pandemic if elected to the White House.
“Once we have a safe and effective vaccine, it should be free for everyone, whether you are insured or not,” he said, presenting his plan to “get ahead of the virus” in Wilmington, Delaware, just 11 days before the presidential election on November 3.
President Donald Trump, who is lagging behind Biden in the polls, also wants the future vaccine against the virus, which could be ready in the next few weeks, to be free.
Democrats blame the Republican billionaire for failing to put in place a strong federal response to the pandemic, which has killed more than 223,000 people in the United States, the world’s most bereaved country.
“COVID-19 surpasses anything we’ve faced in recent history and it shows no signs of slowing down,” Biden said, pointing out that “the virus is growing stronger in virtually every state” in the United States.
“We’ve been in this crisis for almost eight months and the president still has no plan,” said the 77-year-old former Vice President.
“He has abandoned you. He has abandoned you, he has abandoned your family and he has abandoned America,” he hammered home in a televised speech.
If elected, the Democrat nominee pledged to “immediately” put in place a national strategy “to finally get ahead of the virus and start living again”.
He wants to consult the governors of the 50 states during the transition period, before his inauguration on January 20.
Once in power, he would notably call on Congress to pass a major law to finance the fight against the coronavirus and would introduce the mandatory wearing of masks in federal buildings and interstate transport.
Trump defended his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the last presidential debate of the election campaign on Thursday, despite the surge of new daily cases in the country.
“We’re rounding the turn, we’re rounding the corner,” Trump claimed. “It’s going away.”