Biden says school reopening a national emergency

Coronavirus

WILMINGTON, Del. (NewsNation) — Joe Biden delivered a speech in Delaware Wednesday on the issue of safely reopening America’s schools, which he says is a “national emergency.”

In his second speech in three days, the Democratic presidential candidate outlined his plan to keep students and teachers safe during the pandemic. The remarks come ahead of a planned trip to Wisconsin Thursday.

During the campaign event in Wilmington, Biden said that if he were elected president, he would have the Federal Emergency Management Agency guarantee access to disaster relief for K-12 schools.

Biden criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday, saying he “still doesn’t have a real plan.”

“This is an emergency and Donald Trump and his FEMA should treat it as one,” Biden said.

FEMA officials said this week that the agency would no longer pay for cloth face masks and disinfectant in schools.

Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, is hosting a virtual roundtable event with Minnesota lawmakers Wednesday.

On Thursday, Biden plans to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, where there have been ongoing protests after police shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, seven times in the back last month.

Trump traveled to the city on Tuesday to survey damage from the unrest. The president praised law enforcement and pledged millions to rebuild, with federal money going toward Kenosha police, small businesses and public safety statewide.

Biden will hold a community meeting in Kenosha “to heal and address the challenges we face,” the campaign said in a press release.

It remains unclear if Biden will visit Blake or his family. Trump did not during his visit, but he met with his mother’s pastor.

Trump will be in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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