Joe Biden Speaks on COVID-19 at Town Hall: "I Don't Trust the President on Vaccines, I Trust Dr. Fauci"

Joe Biden
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Democratic nominee Joe Biden

The Democratic nominee emphasized his commitment to defeat Donald Trump.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden, wearing a face mask, took the stage Thursday at the Presidential Town Hall, moderated by Anderson Cooper and presented from the PNC Field baseball stadium in Moosic, Pennsylvania, in accordance with social distancing guidelines.

Taking questions from Cooper and the audience, Biden removed his mask and shared that, if elected, he would introduce national standards for going to work safely amid the pandemic, including rapid testing, tracing and federal funding. He emphasized that Trump must not be re-elected, as not much will change in the next four years if he remains in office.

As the nation continues to grapple with the novel coronavirus pandemic, Biden addressed the reports that Trump has admitted to intentionally playing down the deadly nature of the virus. "What has he done? Had of just acted one week earlier he would’ve saved 37,000 lives. He knew it and did nothing. It’s close to criminal," Biden said.

If elected, Biden emphasized he would urge all governors to introduce mandates for mask-wearing, as Biden would mandate on federal property, as well as detail plans for protective safety gear for their citizens. "Put out mandates. You can save lives," he said. "I would like to see governors enforce mask-wearing. Period. "

Throughout the Town Hall, Biden also stressed the fact that he plans to communicate clearly to the American people what's going on in the country, particularly with regard to COVID-19 — something he notes Trump has failed to do.

"He's all about his re-election. It should be about the American people," Biden said, arguing that Trump isn't concerned enough about the health and safety of the country. "This is about saving lives," Biden said. "There's no question that it saves lives."

Cooper then questioned Biden on what his response would be for those who argue against wearing a mask because it's their "individual liberty" to not wear a mask. "I’ll tell you what takes away your freedom is not being able to see your kid… not being able to see your mom or dad sick in the hospital," he argued.

He emphasized that if Trump had done his job from the beginning, far fewer people would have lost their lives. "I don't trust the president on vaccines," said Biden. "I trust Dr. Fauci."

Later on, Biden shared that he will help healthcare and mental health workers and ensure livable wages are introduced, along with paying close attention to those who are vulnerable to drug abuse and other mental health issues. He said he would reinstate the Affordable Care Act, so that no one in the United States would go without being covered for what they need.

"I've been doing this a long time," said Biden, explaining that he never thought he would see an administration as badly handled as what Trump has done. "It's causing us to lose our influence in ways that are profound."

Apart from the pandemic, Biden acknowledged the social uprisings following the death of George Floyd. "Protesting is one thing. A right to speak violence of any kind no matter who it's coming from is wrong and people should be held accountable." Biden says he supports the American people sharing their voices but he condemns "every form of violence" such as setting buildings on fire or smashing windows.

Biden, 77, accepted the Democratic presidential nomination in August, vowing to defeat Donald Trump and "overcome this season of darkness in America." If elected, he will be the oldest president the country has ever had.