Joe Biden Criticizes Trump's Handling of Pandemic: "People Are Dying Because of This Negligence"

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden-Getty - H 2020
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Former Vice President Joe Biden joined Stephen Colbert on Thursday's The Late Show, where they chatted about the novel coronavirus pandemic and Biden's criteria for a potential vice president. 

As the world tries to grapple with the pandemic, Biden was quick to criticize President Donald Trump for his handling of the virus crisis and failing at offering answers.

"Why don't you tell the American people the truth? They're tough. They can handle it," Biden said. He later emphasized that it's unfortunate the pandemic wasn't confronted faster, arguing that had Trump began tackling the virus even a week earlier, "it would've saved 37,000 lives." "People are dying because of this negligence, and it has to stop," Biden said. 

After Biden expressed how he disagrees with Trump's method in handling everything, Colbert questioned what exactly Biden would do differently in tackling the pandemic. 

"Our allies are working on a vaccine that could help make a breakthrough possible. We should be able to take advantage of that and be with them," Biden said. He also assured that, should he be elected, he would appropriate $25 billion from Congress to "scale up manufacturing so there's no delay once the vaccine is found." 

Despite being in the midst of a pandemic, that hasn't stopped Biden from carrying on with his campaign for president. Given Biden has stated that he will select a woman as vice president, he gave further insight into what his criteria will be for potential candidates. 

Biden revealed that he spoke with former President Barack Obama and asked him why he selected him as his vice president during his term. "He was confident I would never walk into the Oval Office and be intimidated. I would always tell him what I thought and always be loyal in the sense that I'd let him know," Biden said, adding that Obama referred to him as a "brother" who would always be candid with him. 

"What I'm looking for [is] somebody who can complement or make up for shortcomings," Biden said. "You want to have somebody who feels completely comfortable disagreeing with you." Despite Colbert attempting to get Biden to admit Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is in the running to be his vice president, Biden assured "no one has been vetted." 

Colbert later questioned whether Biden's administration would ever consider investigating the Trump administration, should he be elected, given it's filled with "people who have danced with the law, if not proven to have broken it." 

Biden assured that one thing he would hope to investigate is assessing "every single dollar in the stimulus package." "There's too many cozy relationships out there," Biden explained, mentioning the support Trump has received from a private jet company and a hotelier known to be a Trump donor returning a large amount of money they earned from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

Biden was also quick to note that Trump has "fired every inspector general" and the Justice Department has "turned into the president's private lawyer." "The Justice Department is not my lawyer," he said. As to whether he'd investigate Trump, Biden said that duty would lie more on the professionals and the Justice Department. 

As the world continues to endure the pandemic, Biden took a moment to acknowledge those who have lost lost ones from the virus and offer words of encouragement. "The only way I know, for me, how to get through it is to find purpose. ... What can you do to make it better?" he said. "Faith sees best in the dark." Biden then recalled the advice his son, Beau, gave him before his passing in 2015. "My son, before he died, he made me make a promise. ... He said, 'Promise me you're going to be OK.'

"He was worried what I would do is withdraw. Mourning in public is a lot different than being able to mourn in private. He made me promise to stay engaged. ... Every morning I get up, I ask myself, 'Is he proud of me?'"

Aware that "there are so many people who have gone through what I have gone through and worse," Biden said it's uplifting to see everyone manage to "put one foot in front of the other" no matter what they're going through. "I promise you, we will get through this and we will come out stronger."