'I would shut down country to save it': Joe Biden takes dig at Trump and vows to 'listen to scientists'
Biden slammed Trump's handling of the outbreak during an interview alongside VP candidate Kamala Harris and said the virus needs to be dealt with first to keep the country running
Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden has tried to project himself as a more responsible leader than incumbent Donald Trump by hinting that he would shut down the US again to fight the coronavirus pandemic if the November 3 election results go in his favor.
The 77-year-old former vice president, who vowed to end the "darkness" of the Trump era while accepting his nomination on August 20, said in an exclusive interview a day later that he would not ignore the advice of scientists to "save lives" while accusing the Republican of concentrating on the economy instead of taking on the virus that has affected 5.6 million people in the US and claimed more than 175,000 lives.
Biden said the current administration has made a "fundamental flaw" in not believing that the outbreak had to be pushed back before the country starts running again. The veteran Democrat appeared with his running mate Kamala Harris in an interview with ABC's 'World News Tonight' on August 21 and told anchor David Muir: "I will be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus."
"That is the fundamental flaw of this administration's thinking to begin with. In order to keep the country running and moving and the economy growing, and people employed, you have to fix the virus, you have to deal with the virus. I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists."
The interview, which will be aired on August 23, will be the first joint interview of Biden and Harris since they became the Democratic Party’s presidential and vice-presidential candidates, respectively.
This is not the first time that Biden has blasted Trump over his controversial handling of the pandemic which has wreaked havoc in the health and economy sectors. He has slammed the president for playing golf at a time when the nation is grappling with the life-threatening crisis and has also been seen sporting the mask while coming out in the public, something the president has mostly ignored.
'Trump failed in his most basic duty'
"Our current president has failed in his most basic duty to this nation. He failed to protect us. He failed to protect America. And, my fellow Americans, that is unforgivable," Biden said in his 25-minute long acceptance speech on the final day of the virtual Democratic National Convention.
Biden has been leading Trump in the pre-election surveys after the coronavirus outbreak and the Republicans will now look forward to seeing the incumbent making a strong pitch at the GOP convention scheduled next week.
Trump has been pushing for a reopening of the country despite the persistence of the health threat and even asked the people to “liberate” states where local Democratic authorities wanted to continue with the lockdown. He has also been having differences with some of the top experts on reopening the economy as well as wearing masks. He has also vouched for reopening schools saying children are least vulnerable to the virus but his viewpoint has been strongly criticized.
The president also hit back at Biden’s “darkness” take on August 20 to say that while his opponent saw “darkness”, he saw “American greatness”.