Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Joe Biden says Donald Trump is 'responsible' for getting COVID and slams the 'macho' refusal to wear masks after the president took his off when he returned to the White House

 Former Vice President  Joe Biden said President Donald Trump is 'responsible' for his COVID-19 infection and blasted the 'macho' attitude that avoids mask wearing.    

Biden spoke Monday night just minutes after Trump left Walter Reed medical facility to reenter the White House – taking off his own mask to be photographed and then reentering the White House to cut a video.

'Anybody who contracts the virus by essentially saying, 'masks don't matter, social distancing doesn't matter,' I think is responsible for what happens to them,' Biden said. 

At an NBC town hall in Florida, Biden again lobbied for mask wearing and blasted those who refuse to do so.   

'What is this macho thing, 'I'm not going to wear a mask?' What's the deal here? Big deal, does it hurt you? Be patriotic for god's sake! Take care of yourself, but take care of your neighbors,' Biden said.    

Former Vice President Joe Biden blasted the 'macho' refusal to wear masks just minutes after President Trump staged a photo-op and returned to the White House from the hospital and then removed his own mask.

Former Vice President Joe Biden blasted the 'macho' refusal to wear masks just minutes after President Trump staged a photo-op and returned to the White House from the hospital and then removed his own mask. 

He was asked about a poll showing nearly two-thirds of Americans think the president bears some responsibility for contracting the coronavirus.  

Biden said he was not worried about himself having contracted the coronavirus from Trump, who debated him on the same stage in Cleveland on Tuesday, when the president may have already been infected with COVID-19.

He told NBC's Lester Holt he wasn't worried about his own safety. 'I’ve been fastidious about the social distancing.'

But he did take to task the president's family. Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Lara Trump all took off their masks inside the debate hall.   

'It was a little disconcerting to look out and see that his whole section no one had masks on,' he said.

'You could see people coming in and a lot of people didn’t have masks on,' Biden explained – but did not identify Trump's family members by name specifically. 

Biden spoke after President Trump's dramatic return so the White House while still infected with COVID-19

Biden spoke after President Trump's dramatic return so the White House while still infected with COVID-19 

The president left Walter Reed hospital and flew to the White House after spending three nights away getting treated for the coronavirus

The president left Walter Reed hospital and flew to the White House after spending three nights away getting treated for the coronavirus 

Members of the Trump family (L-R) Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr. in the audience shortly before US President Donald J. Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden participate in the first 2020 presidential election debate at Samson Pavilion in Cleveland, Ohio. Biden said he could see them without their masks from the debate stage

Members of the Trump family (L-R) Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr. in the audience shortly before US President Donald J. Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden participate in the first 2020 presidential election debate at Samson Pavilion in Cleveland, Ohio. Biden said he could see them without their masks from the debate stage

Trump appears breathless after taking off his mask at the White House
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It was revealed Wednesday that members of the Cleveland Clinic, who cosponsored it, offered the Trump family members masks inside the event venue but they declined. 

With Trump revealing early Friday that he tested positive for COVID-19, he may well have been exposed during the debate.  

Asked about Trump's dramatic arrival, Biden said: 'I would hope that the president having gone through what he went through, and I’m glad he seems to be coming along pretty well, would communicate the right lesson to the American people,' the former vice president said.

'Masks matter. These masks, they matter. It matters. It saves lives. It prevents the spread of the disease.' 

Biden was on stage for the town hall format just days before he is scheduled to debate Trump October 15th in Miami for the second presidential debate – which will feature a similar format.


It was arranged in an outdoor venue that featured occasional traffic noise, and the candidate couldn't always hear his masked questioners.

He told a voter he's 'not putting up with it' if Trump goes after him again. She said she was concerned the president bullied him.  

Monday's event took place outdoors with undecided voters.  Biden was seated in a chair feet away from host Lester Holt.  

He called last week's debate 'embarrassing for the nation.'

He said when asked that he had inquired about whether he should call Trump following his diagnosis.

'The decision was that would probably be intrusive,' he said. 'But I'm truly happy that, if he appears to be – if things are really moving along like he said, and particularly the first lady as well, I'm very happy for that.'

Biden said he himself 'would communicate the right lesson to the American people' and said emphatically that 'masks matter.'

Asked about Trump's photo-op return from the hospital, Biden said: 'I hope no one walks away with the message thinking that it’s not a problem. It’s a serious problem. It’s an international pandemic and we have 4 percent of the population and 20 percent of the deaths.'

But he declined to go after Trump's medical team for holding back information. 

He said that 'moment to moment I’m not sure that that is an absolute requirement' to reveal all information about the president's health. He said it had national security implications.

'You cannot mislead about certain things,' Biden said. 

After blasting Trump on a variety of issues during the pandemic, Biden said: 'I’m not being critical of the fact that every single detail was not released.'

That came despite a media pile-on for White House physician Sean Conley's refusal to divulge critical information about the president's condition, including the state of his lungs and precise levels of oxygenation while he battles the coronavirus.

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