Biden calls schools' struggles to open 'a national emergency'
(CNN) -- Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden blamed President Donald Trump for schools' struggles to open amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying that if Trump had done his job, "American schools would be open and they'd be open safely."
"Instead, American families across this country are paying the price for his failure and his administration's failure," Biden said in a speech Wednesday in Delaware.
Biden's speech followed a briefing he and his wife, Jill Biden, a long-time high school teacher and community college professor, attended with education and health experts in Wilmington.
Biden called opening schools "a national emergency."
"But President Trump still doesn't have any real plan to open our schools safely," he said, accusing Trump of offering "nothing but failure and delusion."
The speech comes as Biden pushes a plan for schools in an effort to draw contrasts with Trump's handling of the pandemic and its effect on families.
Biden has said local education officials should decide when and how to open schools, and has called on Congress to pass emergency funding to help schools adapt for students' return.
"Mr. President, where are you? Where are you? Why aren't you working on this?" Biden said. "Mr. President, that's your job."
"Get off Twitter and start talking to congressional leaders in the Oval Office," Biden said. "You always talk about your ability to negotiate. Negotiate a deal -- a deal for somebody other than yourself."
Jill Biden this week launched a tour with virtual and in-person events focused on school openings. Biden's running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, is holding a virtual roundtable with Minnesota leaders Wednesday focused on the challenges of returning to school during the pandemic.
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