Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden accused President Donald Trump of surrendering to COVID-19, and promised to "shut down the virus" during a drive-in rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday.
The former vice president reiterated his criticisms of the Trump administration's handling of the pandemic, which has killed more than 229,000 people in the United States and sickened at least 9 million.
Biden made reference to comments White House chief of staff Mark Meadows made earlier this week, that "we are not going to control the pandemic."
"Unlike Donald Trump, we won't surrender to this virus. I'm going to put in place a plan to deal with this pandemic," Biden told the crowd assembled at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Trump has criticized Biden for favoring more restrictive measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, with the president claiming the country is "rounding the corner" on controlling the virus.
"I'm not going to shut down the economy," Biden said Friday. "I'm going to shut down the virus."
The Des Moines appearance -- Biden's first in Iowa since the state's caucus -- is the first of three events the former vice president was scheduled to take part in Friday. He has another rally in Minnesota in the afternoon and one in Wisconsin in the evening.
Trump was scheduled to hold rallies in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin on Friday.