Biden Says He Would Shut Country Down if Advisors Told Him To
'I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists,' Democrat nominee said
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has said that he would shut America down to fight the coronavirus if his advisors told him to do so.
Former Vice President Biden made the pledge in a Friday interview with ABC News, saying he would "listen to the scientists" and shut down the country again if scientists recommended doing so.
“I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists,” Biden declared.
Biden made the comments for an interview set to air Sunday while appearing alongside vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris in their first joint interview as the Democratic Party’s official nominees.
The unprecedented decision this spring to close businesses, schools, churches in order to fight the spread of COVID-19 has had wide-reaching ramifications on the daily lives of Americans.
President Donald Trump has been pushing for schools, churches, and businesses to reopen to get the economy moving again.
In the ABC News interview, Biden pointed to what he called the Trump administration's “fatal flaw” in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
"I will be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus,” Biden told Muir.
"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.”
In his Democratic convention speech, Biden said that tackling the coronavirus would be his first task if elected.
"As president, the first step I will take will be to get control of the virus that's ruined so many lives," Biden said.
"Because I understand something this president doesn't.
"We will never get our economy back on track, we will never get our kids safely back to school, we will never have our lives back until we deal with this virus."
The former vice president took some heat Friday morning from members of the Trump administration who pushed back on his ability to handle the pandemic better than Trump.
"It’s a confounding display of the intersection of arrogance and ignorance because he doesn’t know what we’ve done on COVID-19," White House aide Kellyanne Conway told "The Daily Briefing” on Friday morning.
"Firstly, when he said it’s your patriotic duty to wear a mask, he sounds like President Trump, who said it’s your patriotic duty to wear a mask and tweeted out a picture of him wearing a mask and basically said, 'I'm wearing a mask, you wear a mask."
Trump has resisted telling people that they must wear masks, preferring to allow the public to chose for themselves.
He waited until late-July to start encouraging Americans to put on masks, but ultimately gave people the freedom to decide for themselves, rather than force it on them.
We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President! pic.twitter.com/iQOd1whktN— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2020
GOP lawmakers had urged the president to wear a mask while in public.
They said it would do a lot to encourage his base to practice the recommended health measures during the pandemic.
"Unfortunately, this simple lifesaving practice has become part of a political debate that says: If you’re for Trump, you don’t wear a mask. If you’re against Trump, you do,” Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said during a hearing in late June.
"That is why I have suggested the president should occasionally wear a mask even though there are not many occasions when it is necessary for him to do so.
"The president has millions of admirers.
"They would follow his lead."
Trump also endorsed masks in an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace.
“I'm a believer in masks," Trump said.
"I think masks are good."
Trump and Biden will hold their first debate Sept. 29 in Cleveland.