Tags: 2020 Elections | Coronavirus | taskforce | briefings | campaign | candidate

Trump 'Absolutely' Willing to Talk to Biden on Virus

(C-SPAN)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 April 2020 08:51 PM

Presidential candidate Joe Biden has been waxing about his own coronavirus response in shadow briefings amid his campaign, and even President Donald Trump is interested in him bringing his ideas to the coronavirus task force.

The president is still waiting for a phone call.

"Oh, absolutely, I'd love to speak to him, sure," Trump told reporters at Wednesday's daily task force briefing. "I always found him to be a nice guy.

"I don't know him very well, frankly, but he's probably a nice guy. If he'd like to call, I'd absolutely take his call. OK, you can tell him, all right?"

Trump did slip in his "Sleepy Joe" moniker for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who is currently holding a large delegate lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the now-stalled primary.

"Vice President Biden has been extending his advice for months, and he did so again on the air last night," deputy Biden campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said in a statement, per Fox News.

"As he has said repeatedly, Donald Trump is not accountable for coronavirus itself — but he is accountable for the federal government's slow and chaotic response to this outbreak."

Trump has been critical of the antiquated testing and infectious disease response protocols set up by past presidents, including ex-President Barack Obama, who Biden served under as vice president and helped in responding to the 2009 H1N1 swine-flu epidemic, Ebola, and SARS and MERS – the latter two respiratory infections linked similarly to COVID-19.

Biden's shadow campaign briefings have made some missteps in criticizing the task force of late, including calling on Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act to mandate private U.S. companies to aid in the response.

When Biden made that call, Trump had already signed an executive order and announced initiatives by U.S. manufacturers to add in the production of personal protective equipment (PPE), including facemasks, gowns, gloves, and ventilators – the latter of which Trump ripped the Obama administration for not replenishing the U.S. stockpile after past epidemics.

Also, Biden had rejected Trump's China travel ban in an attempt to protect Americans.

"I made a decision to close off to China – that was weeks early," Trump said last week. "And, honestly, I took a lot of heat. Sleepy Joe Biden said it's xenophobic. I don't know if he knows what that means, but that's OK. He said it's racist, what I did."

Trump has also considered Gov. Andrew Cuomo, also a political rival, a better candidate than Biden.

"We want to always make sure that we have a great president — we have somebody that's capable – I personally don't think Joe Biden is capable," Trump told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" this week.

"I wouldn't mind running against Andrew," Trump added. "I have known Andrew for a long time. I wouldn’t mind that. But I'll be honest, I think he'd be a better candidate than Sleepy Joe."

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Presidential candidate Joe Biden has been waxing about his own coronavirus response in shadow briefings amid his campaign, and even President Donald Trump is interested in him bringing his ideas to the coronavirus task force.The president is still waiting for a phone...
taskforce, briefings, campaign, candidate
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2020-51-01
Wednesday, 01 April 2020 08:51 PM
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