He isn’t president — but he really, really wants to be.
Joe Biden is planning to start giving his own briefings of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The former vice president isn’t getting much press lately with the Democratic presidential nomination all but over and news networks going to round-the-clock coverage on the pandemic. What’s more, governors of large states — especially New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — are getting massive air time with their own daily briefings (in fact, Cuomo’s lengthy gabfests have occasionally pushed back briefings by President Trump).
Biden says he wants to have a forum so he can address “false and misleading statements” from Trump, Politico reports, adding that Biden “gave a preview of what’s to come in a conference call with reporters Friday.”
“President Trump stop saying false things, will ya?” Biden said. “People are worried, they are really frightened, when these things don’t come through. He just exacerbates their concern. Stop saying false things you think make you sound like a hero and start putting the full weight of the federal government behind finding fast, safe and effective treatments.”
Biden, Politico notes, “made his comments from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, where he has been holed up for more than a week in adherence with Centers for Disease Control guidelines that urge people to practice social distancing.”
Now, he said, his house is being outfitted with equipment that would enable him to livestream events, have interactive tele-press conferences and broadcast interviews with network television.
“I would like to get in the position and we’re trying to work out so that the headquarters … to be able to accommodate my directly answering questions in front of a press that’s assigned to me,” he said. “We’ve hired a professional team to do that now. And excuse the expression that’s a little above my pay grade to know how to do that.”
Trump has been holding daily briefings, often for 90 minutes or more. Such briefings have given Trump the opportunity to be seen leading the nation on the response to COVID-19. And every day, Trump makes sure to list all the actions taken by his administration.
Biden, meanwhile, has all but disappeared. Before the virus hit the U.S., Biden was in the news daily as he battled for the Democratic presidential nomination, giving speeches at campaign rallies and battling his opponents in regular debates. In the last couple of weeks, though, the 77-year-old has hardly been seen.
The former vice president has been forced to take to Twitter to be heard.
“The president has been behind the curve throughout this whole response,” he wrote Friday. “He’s talking about yesterday rather than where we need to be tomorrow. The president needs to stop talking and start rallying government action with the urgency and ambition this moment demands.”
“Now he’s switched to falsely telling us that he’s taking action that he has not taken, and promising results that he’s not delivering. People are scared. They’re frightened. And their president is just exacerbating their concerns,” Biden also wrote.
Now he’s switched to falsely telling us that he’s taking action that he has not taken, and promising results that he’s not delivering. People are scared. They're frightened. And their president is just exacerbating their concerns.
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) March 21, 2020
But Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said Biden’s briefings will just take “attention from real updates Americans should know just to score political points.”