On Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden held a press conference during which he said he was committed to holding three debates with President Trump and made clear that he supports the removal of statues and monuments dedicated to figures from American history.
“Look, I am committed to following the debate, the National Debate Group that sets up these debates, who they pick as the moderators, three of them,” said the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. “It’s been this way for a long time. The first one is a one-on-one debate with a moderator. The next one is led by a town meeting set and a third one is a normal debate again. I commit to those. I’m looking forward to them.”
During the press conference, Biden also claimed that there was “systemic racism” in America.
Speaking of the movement to remove statues and monuments around the country, Biden stated there was “systemic racism” in America and praised the movement, even appearing to defend those who are toppling statues.
“Put them in museums, get them down,” said the former vice president. “But don’t expect if you have sitting in front of you after all these years and we finally, finally are going through another phase of maybe responding to the systemic racism in America, and what we’ve seen happen, is don’t be surprised if someone pulls down the statue of Jefferson Davis.”
Biden spent the bulk of his speech attacking President Trump. “Month after month, as other leaders in other countries took the necessary steps to get the virus under control, Donald Trump failed us,” he said. “Month after month, as many of us urged him to step up and do his job, he failed us.”
Biden then cited a laundry list of statements Trump has made since January, followed by the steps he would take at the given moment, including more testing, creating a “pandemic testing board,” hiring at least 100,000 federally funded workers to perform contact tracing and other public health tasks, scaling up production of N95 masks, and to be “laser focused on treatments and vaccines.”
Biden said the U.S. should “immediately restore our relationship with the World Health Organization,” adding it is “essential to coordinating the global response during a pandemic.”
He continued, “We need to protect the populations most at risk, our seniors, our black and brown populations, native communities that are being hit the hardest, vulnerable populations with preexisting conditions.”
Biden did not mention the massive protests that likely contributed to the spike in coronavirus when he stated, “We’re hardly better prepared than we were in March. Infections are on the rise. The threat of massive spikes that overwhelm the capacity of our healthcare system is on the horizon.”
Resuming his attack on Trump, Biden snapped, “American people don’t make enormous sacrifices over the past four months so they could just waste their time and you could waste all the efforts they have undertaken with your midnight rantings and tweets. They don’t make these sacrifices so you could ignore the science and turn responsible steps, like wearing masks, into a political statement.”
Answering reporters, Biden stated, “One of two things, this president talks about cognitive capability. He doesn’t seem to be cognitively aware of what’s going on. He either reads and/or gets briefed on important issues and he forgets it, or he doesn’t think it’s necessary that he need to know it.”
“You know me,” he added. “I’d much rather be out there with people because that’s where I get the greatest feel … the irony is, I think we’re probably communicating directly in detail with more people than we would have otherwise. But I’d much rather be doing it in person.”
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