Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Deadline,” 2020 Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden had several awkward exchanges with host Nicolle Wallace while apologizing for his wording.
When asked how he would handle the coronavirus pandemic if he wins the election, Biden said, “Way back in January 17 I wrote a piece, maybe the 15th. I wrote a piece for “USA Today” saying that, you know, a pandemic is coming. We have to be better prepared. We should have been in a position, I called for a while ago. I would enforce, enforce the defense production act. I would be surging equipment and personnel. I would be moving in a direction where we had the United States military, which I call for several weeks ago building hospitals like finally happening in the National Guard helping in New York with, you know, at the Javits Center. We have this capacity. Most of all, I would be protecting our docs, nurses, and first responders because if we lose them, we are in real, real trouble. We should be making those masks, moving on those ventilators. We can do that. Why doesn’t he just act like a president?”
Biden apologized, “That’s a stupid way to say that but I really –”
Wallace who had begun her next question said, “Donald Trump was asked on —”
Biden apologized again, “Sorry.”
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Wallace said, “Go ahead.”
Biden said, “No. No. Probably best I don’t.”
Wallace laughed as she said, “All right.”
Later in the interview, Wallace asked, “Mr. Vice President, what do you say about the reporting in The New York Times and it’s been reported at a local level for as long as this virus has been something that people have been anxious about, that’s discrimination against Asian Americans. Donald Trump, I think, tried to put something back in the toothpaste tube yesterday but saying he wouldn’t tolerate discrimination, but that was after weeks and weeks and weeks of calling coronavirus the Chinese virus.”
Biden said, “Well, I — no matter how he got there, I’m glad he finally got there. It was long overdue to say he won’t put up the xenophobia. Strange coming from him, but I’m happy he did it. Happy, he did it. The irony is you may recall in the beginning when this started there were folks like me and others calling for him to make sure that he contacts Xi, he get engaged and send people to — our experts to China to find out at the source what was happening. There was a federal employee that worked for the president in China to watch this and either got fired or quit. Not sure how it happened. At the time, he was out there, praising how things were going. China was doing all these wonderful things and everything was going on, but we didn’t know what was happening precisely. Now all of a sudden, he is being tough on China. He is making sure — now he is being soft on his xenophobia in the past so I just — I just can’t figure the guy. I don’t know. It’s like watching a yo-yo. ”
As Biden raised his hand up and down as he said, “I shouldn’t have said it that way.”
Wallace said, “It feels that way. I want to — that’s okay.”
Story cited here.