Joe Biden appeared to lose track of his teleprompter on Monday, during a speech in which he criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The former vice president has been sidelined from campaigning in public because of the coronavirus crisis that has put nearly one in three Americans under orders to stay at home.
Biden’s broadcast was streamed live Monday morning from his home in Delaware. Referencing a $1-trillion-plus coronavirus response bill, he accused Trump and Senate Republicans of “trying to put a corporate bailout ahead of families.”
“It’s simply wrong. We need to be focused on helping hardworking Americans, communities, and small businesses — not handing big corporations a blank check,” Biden said.
At one point during his speech, Biden suddenly stopped talking and motioned frantically with his hand.
Biden's teleprompter broke pic.twitter.com/kgGqYV6wl2
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 23, 2020
The Senate’s drive to pass a coronavirus relief package remained stymied late on Sunday, as Democrats held out for more money to help state and local governments and hospitals, while Republicans urged quick action to give financial markets a sign of encouragement.
Earlier on Sunday, the Senate failed to get the necessary 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to get the Republican plan over a procedural hurdle after days of negotiations, with 47 senators voting in favor and 47 opposed.
Later on Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, announced he would hold a repeat vote early on Monday, only to be blocked by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.
In response, McConnell accused Democrats of “reckless behavior” that could further upset financial markets and delay much-needed aid to battle the coronavirus outbreak.
But Democrats held their ground with Schumer calling the Republican plan “a giant, giant corporate bailout fund with no accountability.”