For weeks in early 2020, President Donald Trump dismissed the threat posed by the global pandemic. In February, when there were only 15 cases, he assured that it would disappear, "like a miracle."
As cases in the United States continued to surge, the President began changing his rhetoric.
Trump constructed an "invisible enemy" out of the virus, and began attempting to adopt the demeanor of a President at war.
When asked by reporters in March if he thought of himself as a "wartime president," Trump responded:
"I do, I actually do, I'm looking at it that way. I look at it, I view it as, in a sense, a wartime president. I mean, that's what we're fighting."
In the four months since Trump said those words, the United States has surpassed two million cases and nearly 130 thousand Americans are dead.
2020 Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden is highlighting the President's failures to adequately mobilize against the virus on a national scale—and he's using Trump's wartime rhetoric to do so.
Donald Trump wants to style himself a wartime president against an invisible enemy — but he has surrendered the fig… https://t.co/1esnCyc7bE— Joe Biden (@Joe Biden) 1592444700.0
He reiterated this claim in a recent speech in his home state of Delaware.
In his first press briefing in months, Joe Biden gave a 20-minute speech tearing into Donald Trump for mishandling… https://t.co/P66ECUoHj8— POLITICO (@POLITICO) 1593564659.0
"Remember when he exhorted the nation to 'sacrifice together' to face an 'invisible enemy'? What happened? Now it's almost July, and it seems the wartime president has surrendered—has waved the white flag and left the field of battle."
People largely agreed with the rebuke.
@CNNPolitics So accurate— BIDEN 306 LANDSLIDE 🇺🇸 (@BIDEN 306 LANDSLIDE 🇺🇸) 1593563262.0
@CNN What if the Allies had thrown down their weapons and given up the fight in 1943? Do you think the Axis powers… https://t.co/uEISjLzYjZ— Blue Ranger 🔊🌎☮ (@Blue Ranger 🔊🌎☮) 1593542698.0
@CNN True leadership doesn't give up because the challenges of life gets rough. A true leader presses on until they… https://t.co/4DprHz9kLe— Tami. (@Tami.) 1593542912.0
@CNN Trump never even entered the battle field he let other people fight and suffer for him— Olivia Kaplan (@Olivia Kaplan) 1593545967.0
They alluded to Trump's five draft deferrals, including at least one for "bone spurs."
@CNN We know what he does when he's expected to participate in a war.— Squimpey (@Squimpey) 1593547534.0
@realDonaldTrump The draft dodger surrenders, what a surprise. https://t.co/xK8kX51YGa— Peace and love (@Peace and love) 1593560183.0
@MSNBC He never entered the battlefield. Bone spurs.— theresa blue state girl (@theresa blue state girl) 1593613261.0
The war against the global pandemic rages on.