(CNN) — Former Vice President Joe Biden chided President Donald Trump on Tuesday for saying he wants the US “opened up and just raring to go” by April 12, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that Trump should “stop talking and start listening to the medical experts.”
“Look, we all want the economy to open as rapidly as possible. The way to do that is let’s take care of the medical side of this immediately,” Biden said in an interview with CNN.
The former vice president said he could envision some parts of the country and some sectors being ready to return to work on Trump’s timeline.
“But the idea that we’re in a position where we’re saying, by Easter, he wants to have everybody going back to work? What’s he talking about?” Biden said.
Biden said Trump is “not responsible for the coronavirus” but that the President is “responsible for the delay in taking the actions that need to be taken.”
He said Trump should have invoked the Defense Production Act earlier and used its powers to require companies to rapidly ramp up production of medical equipment like masks and ventilators.
“He says he’s a war-time president — well God, act like one. Move. Fast,” Biden said.
Biden has been off the campaign trail for two weeks as the pandemic has forced candidates to cancel rallies and fundraisers and order staff to work from home. His campaign converted a room in his Wilmington, Delaware, home into a broadcast studio, and Biden began a media blitz Tuesday.
In the interview, Biden said he has not been tested for coronavirus because he has not exhibited any symptoms, and that he is following medical experts’ advice — including keeping distance from his grandchildren when they visit and ensuring everyone who enters his house, including the Secret Service, wears gloves and masks.
At one point in the interview, Biden coughed into his hand. Tapper told Biden that doing so was “kind of old school” and that he should cough into his elbow.
“Actually that is true,” Biden said. “But fortunately I’m alone in my home. But that’s OK. I agree. You’re right.”
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