Biden, seeking contrast with Trump, will speak Today 1 pm EDT ​on Coronavirus.

WILMINGTON, Del. — A day after President Trump addressed the nation about the coronavirus amid criticism that he has minimized the threat of the pandemic, Joseph R. Biden Jr. planned to give his own remarks on the virus, seeking to project steadiness and resolve from his perch as front-runner for the Democratic nomination.

Mr. Biden, the former vice president, is scheduled to speak Thursday afternoon in Wilmington, Del., about the challenges the country faces and his ideas for managing the outbreak. His campaign announced its plans for the speech on Tuesday, before Mr. Trump's Oval Office address, and a Biden official described the upcoming remarks as offering "a view into how Biden will lead in times of crisis as president."

This moment of national anxiety, some of Mr. Biden's allies believe, throws into sharp relief the choice Americans would face in a general-election matchup between Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump, and the stakes of that contest. Mr. Biden has been seeking to underscore the contrast in ways overt and subtle even as he continues a primary battle against Senator Bernie Sanders.

On Wednesday, for instance, his campaign announced the formation of a "Public Health Advisory Committee" studded with prominent health leaders and alumni of former President Barack Obama's administration — a rollout that seemed designed to conjure the actions a president might take. Members included Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon general; Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a prominent oncologist and a vice provost at the University of Pennsylvania; and Lisa Monaco, who served as a homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to Mr. Obama.

Mr. Biden has previously sketched out steps he would take as president to fight the virus, noting his work as vice president in combating Ebola and describing Obama administration priorities like bolstering funding to fight that disease. Ron Klain, who was Mr. Obama's Ebola "czar," is a top Biden adviser.

Mr. Biden has also said that he would insist on transparency from China, where the coronavirus outbreak began, and has expressed shock and frustration with Mr. Trump's past skeptical remarks about the severity of the virus.

"I wish he would just be quiet, I really mean it," Mr. Biden said in an interview earlier this week with Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC. "Just let the experts speak and acknowledge whatever they suggest to him is what we should be doing."

Mr. Trump's somber address Wednesday night, in which he announced he was blocking most travel from continental Europe and promised new aid for workers and businesses, was a break from his previous efforts to play down the effects of the outbreak. But he also mischaracterized some of his administration's new travel policies and described the threat as a "foreign virus," though Americans are infected along with many in other countries.

Even as Mr. Biden strives to project an image of leadership, he is still a candidate for the Democratic nomination who faces another debate and another round of primary elections in coming days, and his campaign has been scrambling to adjust to a presidential contest now unfolding amid a pandemic.

In one sign of the radical adjustments the virus is forcing on the presidential race, Mr. Biden's team on Wednesday announced that previously scheduled campaign events in Chicago and Miami would be transformed into "virtual events" ahead of next Tuesday's primaries in Illinois, Florida and several other large, delegate-rich states.

Still, surrogates are continuing to make the rounds in key upcoming contests, and volunteers may still be encouraged to head to states like Illinois and Georgia to help with activities like door-knocking, according to Dick Harpootlian, a South Carolina state senator and a Biden supporter who has been in touch with the campaign.

The remarks on Thursday will not be the first time Mr. Biden has sought to assume the mantle of a sober, statesmanlike leader through a highly produced speech: In January, he delivered a sharp rebuke of Mr. Trump's stewardship of tensions with Iran against a backdrop that appeared reminiscent of the White House briefing room.

Yet that issue faded from the national forefront, and Mr. Biden went on to a fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses a few weeks later as he competed against what was, at the time, a crowded and competitive Democratic field.

He enters this speech, however, fresh off a streak of victories, having amassed a delegate advantage, and facing just one Democratic opponent, Mr. Sanders.

New York Times, March 12, 2020


March 12, 2020

Voices4America Post Script. Watch Joe Biden on the Coronavirus Crisis we all face. 1 PM EDT. Share this now! #BidenLeadership #Biden2020 #Blue2020

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