JOE Biden doubled down on his claims that Donald Trump and his administration's 'negligence' caused thousands of American deaths in the pandemic.
The Democratic presidential nominee said that, while he doesn't blame Trump for the coronavirus crisis, he claims his handling of COVID cost lives.
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"I don't blame him for the COVID crisis. I blame him for walking away and not dealing with the solutions. The idea of saying that this is going to go away, that some miracle's going to happen," said Biden in an interview with David Muir and Robin Roberts that aired Sunday on ABC.
Biden, who has repeatedly slammed Trump for his “bungled” response to COVID-19, told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show in May that "people are dying because of this negligence.”
“There was all that crazy talk about bleach. He hasn't listened to the scientists,” Biden said in the new interview.
Muir pushed Biden to address his previous statements placing blame on the Trump administration.
"I can tell you what Columbia University Medical School said. It said that he acted just one week earlier, he would have saved over 37,000 lives," Biden said.
“This is about telling the American people the truth and listening to the scientists, not stepping away.”
Biden was also asked about comments he made during his presidential nominee acceptance speech, in which he proposed a national mandate to wear masks.
His comments have come under criticism from people who claim being told to wear or not wear a mask infringes on their personal liberties.
“This isn't about your freedom. It’s about your neighbors. It’s about a patriotic responsibility to help your neighbors, and the way to do that is by social distancing and wearing a mask in public,” Biden said.
Muir also asked Biden what the coronavirus pandemic will look like in America after he takes office, to which he responded: “It depends on what this president leaves me in five months.”
"Right now, it looks like what's going to happen is the numbers are going to go up. There's estimates that well over 200,000 people will die — significantly more people will be infected. It doesn't have to be that way. He can take action now,” Biden said.
Biden also skirted around questions asking how vaccines would be distributed once they are in production – trying to push the blame on Trump.
"Someone should be in charge now directing precisely how the vaccine would be distributed, how many vials would in fact have to be manufactured. … it's about how, planning now,” Biden said.
Muir asked Biden if he can "win a presidential election from home," noting that Trump has been rallying in key battleground states.
"We will… We've been able to travel places when we've been able to do it in a way that we don’t cause the congregation of large numbers of people," Biden responded.
"Look at what's happened with his events, people die," Biden said, referencing he says referencing the late Herman Cain — who died from coronavirus after attending a Trump rally.
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Biden also addressed comments made by the Trump campaign that he's been sitting in his basement, "Alone. Hiding. Diminished."
"I've left my basement. In the meantime, 500,000 people have watched what I've done out of my basement and, guess what, people are listening," Biden said.
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