Along the electoral lines of Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal in 2015, BJP in Bihar now or political parties of Tamil Nadu, Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden surprised Americans, not used to promises of freebies, early today when he promised free anti-Covid vaccines to all citizens of the US if he is elected.
Democrat Joe Biden said Friday (Saturday in India) that, if elected president, he would mandate anti-coronavirus vaccines be free for all Americans, part of a national strategy to “get ahead of this virus.”
“Once we have a safe and effective vaccine, it has to be free to everyone — whether or not you’re insured,” Biden said in a speech laying out his pandemic response plan just 11 days before the US presidential election.
President Donald Trump, who trails Biden in the polls, has also stressed that a vaccine — which he says will be ready in the coming weeks — should be free.
But Democrats led by Biden have slammed Trump for ‘failing’ to lay out and implement a nationwide response to a pandemic that has now killed more than 223,000 Americans.
“Covid-19 dwarfs anything that we’ve faced in recent history, and it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. The virus is surging in almost every state,” Biden said in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware.
“We’re more than eight months into this crisis and the president still doesn’t have a plan,” the 77-year-old former vice president said, adding, “He’s given up. He’s quit on you. He’s quit on your family. He’s quit on America.”
Biden said in his speech in Wilmington, Delaware, “He (Trump) just wants us to grow numb and resign to the horrors of this death toll and the pain it’s causing so many Americans.”
Biden said that if elected he would “immediately” put in place a national strategy “to finally get ahead of this virus, and get back our lives.” That would include consulting governors of all 50 states during the presidential transition.
Should he take office, Biden would urge the US Congress to pass a major bill outlining everything needed to combat the virus, implement a national mask mandate in federal buildings and interstate transportation and implement a national testing plan equivalent to a seven-fold increase over today’s testing level.
Meanwhile, as the US recorded the highest single day of new coronavirus cases since the outbreak, President Donald Trump moved public attention from the high toll of the virus by highlighting the comment of Joe Biden in Thursday night’s debate that America should shift its reliance on oil toward greater renewable energy use. With the election less than two weeks away and more than 50 million ballots already cast, the fresh dispute over energy gave Trump a chance to shift the campaign away from his mishandling of a pandemic that’s killed nearly 224,000 Americans and argue that Biden’s remarks could cost him five or six states on Election Day, reported CNN.
In India and among Indian-Americans, however, the issue people debated was whether Trump was right in talking about pollution in the south Asian country.
The day before yesterday, ahead of Bihar assembly election in India, the BJP released its manifesto where it mentioned that as soon as the vaccine was available for production on a mass scale, every person in the state would get vaccinated for free. This statement drew sharp criticism from various other political parties, who questioned as to why Bihar should be privileged.