PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden came to Philadelphia Thursday to announce his plan to reopen the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. He says President Donald Trump isn’t doing enough to keep workers safe.
Biden made a stop at the former home of “American Bandstand,” now The Enterprise Center in West Philadelphia, to unveil his plan to reopen the U.S. economy safely in the age of COVID-19.
“We have to give guidance, it seems to me, better guidance than we’ve been able to give,” Biden said during the roundtable discussion Thursday. “So what I talk about is Trump has basically had a one-point plan: open businesses. Just open. But it does nothing to keep workers safe and keep businesses able to stay open.”
Members of the panel included Della Clark, the executive director of The Enterprise Center, which supports minority business owners and underserved communities, a small business owner and Tameka Anderson, a mother and union worker who was laid off because of the pandemic.
“I wanted to come and see what plans he had for bringing our community back,” Anderson said. “I know so many people that’s still waiting, that’s still waiting, that’s behind on their bills, that don’t know what they’re going to do today or tomorrow.”
Congressman Dwight Evans moderated the discussion. He says the former vice president’s eight-point plan was thoughtful and thorough.
It guarantees testing and personal protective equipment for workers, no-limit paid leave for anyone who gets sick or needs to care for a sick family member, and also calls for a federally-funded contact tracing force of 100,000 people.
“The testing and the tracing, I think is very essential, especially when you talk about within the African-American community and people of color, who have been affected by this pandemic more so than anyone else,” Evans said.
Evans says he plans to introduce a bill in the House that would provide forgivable federal loans to small businesses that were damaged by the recent looting and vandalism, on top of the financial blow of the novel coronavirus.