Biden to focus on economic plans, inequality in weeks ahead

In this June 2, 2020, photo, Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Philadelphia. Biden is pledging to unveil a series of proposals in coming weeks aimed at reversing the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic and addressing inequalities sparking protests sweeping the country. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
In this June 2, 2020, photo, Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Philadelphia. Biden is pledging to unveil a series of proposals in coming weeks aimed at reversing the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic and addressing inequalities sparking protests sweeping the country. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden is pledging to unveil a series of proposals in coming weeks aimed at reversing the economic devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic and addressing inequalities that have contributed to protests sweeping the country.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and his aides see some parallels to the last time his party wrested the White House from Republicans. The economic collapse during the final stages of the 2008 presidential campaign gave Barack Obama, with Biden as his running mate, an opportunity to present clear contrasts with GOP policies and make the case for sweeping overhauls.

The dynamics are far more complicated today. The current crisis was prompted not by poor bank lending practices but by a dramatic freeze in American life that began in March to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Joblessness is at levels not seen since the Great Depression. And as some states and cities reopen, the protests responding to the police killing of George Floyd have spurred calls to address inequalities rooted in systemic racism.

“I come at this from a civil rights standpoint,” Biden said Thursday during an online fundraiser with climate activists. “We're not going to make any significant progress until we have economic growth, economic justice, economic opportunity.”