Democratic White House hopeful Joe Biden on Monday castigated Donald Trump for saying Americans should not be afraid of COVID-19 or let it “dominate your life,” even after the president tested positive for coronavirus.
“I saw a tweet he did, they showed me, he said ‘don’t let COVID control your life,’“ Biden told Florida news station Local 10 as he campaigned in the key battleground state.
“Tell that to the 205,000 families who lost somebody.”
Biden was referring to the number of Americans -- now past 210,000 -- who have died from coronavirus, even as the president downplays the seriousness of the disease.
US President @realDonaldTrump tells Americans "to get out there" and not fear #COVID19 as he returns to the White House after a four-day hospital stay to be treated for #coronavirus.https://t.co/aFhRFsThza pic.twitter.com/RlnbEQzhWC— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) October 6, 2020
The former vice president added to his comments later Monday at an outdoor town hall event in Miami, where he criticized Trump for ignoring the importance of masks.
“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: masks matter,” Biden said.
“These masks, they matter. It matters, it saves lives, it prevents the spread of the disease.”
Biden’s remarks came just minutes after Trump concluded a four-day period of COVID-19 treatment at Walter Reed military medical center in Maryland, returned to the White House, and defiantly removed his facemask as he stood on the mansion’s balcony.
“It’s a great concern,” Biden said. “I hope no one walks away with the message thinking that it’s not a problem.”
Biden faced Trump on stage in their rollercoaster debate last Wednesday, just days before the president announced his positive COVID diagnosis.