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Biden Scorns Trump for Hailing Economy With 11.1% Jobless Rate

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 7/2/2020 Tyler Pager
Joe Biden holding a sign: WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - JUNE 30: Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden pauses during a campaign event June 30, 2020 at Alexis I. Dupont High School in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden discussed the Trump Administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) © Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images North America WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - JUNE 30: Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden pauses during a campaign event June 30, 2020 at Alexis I. Dupont High School in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden discussed the Trump Administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(Bloomberg) -- Joe Biden reminded the American people on Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over and said the month’s positive jobs report doesn’t compensate for the scale of the health crisis.

“There is no victory to be celebrated,” the Democratic presidential nominee said on a livestream from his Delaware home.

President Donald Trump trumpeted the job figures on Thursday, saying the 5 million new jobs showed the economy is “roaring back.” But with the unemployment rate still at 11.1% and coronavirus cases spiking in several states, economists expressed concern about a stalling recovery.

The Democratic nominee, while acknowledging he was happy for the people who are back at work, sought to tamp down Trump’s enthusiasm, saying the country is still in a “deep, deep hole.”

“We’re still down nearly 15 million jobs, and the pandemic is getting worse, not better,” Biden said.

Biden continued his barrage of scorn over Trump’s leadership and said millions of jobs and thousands of lives could have been saved if the president had acted sooner. He called on Trump to focus on solving the health crisis, which he argued needs to be addressed before the economy can recover.

“Act,” he said. “Lead. Lead. Or get out of the way so others can, Mr. President.”

More than 128,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, and on Wednesday, the country eclipsed 50,000 new cases in a single day, a record high. In 45 states, the seven-day average of infections is higher than it was a week ago. As a result of the country’s high infection rate, more than two dozen European countries have banned Americans from traveling there.

Biden renewed his call for the Trump administration to put together a uniform plan to guide states and cities on how to safely re-open their economies. The former vice president has repeatedly implored Trump and the federal government to expand testing and contact tracing and ridiculed the president for hoping the virus would “just disappear.”

“Quit claiming victory with almost 15 million Americans still out of work because of this crisis,” he said. “Quit ignoring the reality of this pandemic and the horrifying loss of American life.”

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