Former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden excoriated President Donald Trump for not taking responsibility for the COVID-19 pandemic during an interview with James Corden on The Late Late Show Tuesday.
Biden spoke about his early concerns about the coronavirus and recalled how, back in 2016, the incoming Trump administration was hardly interested in the measures Obama’s White House had taken to prepare for another pandemic. He also explained how he would handle the ongoing crisis, pointedly noting that, first and foremost, he’d take responsibility. More specifically, he spoke about ramping up production and distribution of medical and protective equipment, increasing testing, opening enrollment to Obamacare and the importance of collecting data on how the virus is disproportionately impacting minority communities.
When asked why Trump hasn’t taken similar steps, Biden replied, “Because he doesn’t want to take responsibility. … If you listen to his press briefings, what’s he do? It’s all about him, it’s not about us, it’s not about the American people. He talks about how the governors should thank him for what he’s done. Well, what the hell does he think his job is? People should understand, he knows what he’s doing. He initially said this is going to go away in the warm weather. Look, Franklin Roosevelt, World War II, said, the American people — I’m paraphrasing — can handle anything, but you gotta tell them the truth. And he doesn’t tell them the truth.”
Elsewhere, Biden said he was concerned about pushes to reopen the American economy too soon, saying there was a “false choice” being made between public health and the economy. He also got emotional while speaking about essential workers continuing to work during the crisis and noted, “When this is over, we better damn well not forget them. Because what’s happened is, this and the way Trump has handled it, we’ve taken the blinders off. All of a sudden we’re realizing there’s a lot of incredible people out there who are making $6, $7 an hour, who are out there making sure we continue to be able to eat, we continue to be able to have electricity… that, even when we’re in quarantine, we’re able to be taken care of.”