Pushing back against criticism that he’s hiding in the basement of his home in Delaware during the coronavirus pandemic, former Vice President Joe Biden emphasized on Tuesday that he’s “following the guidelines” by campaigning online and argued that he’s “winning” right now in his general election faceoff with President Trump.
“We’re on the campaign trail now. Everybody says ‘Biden’s hidin.’ Let me tell you something, we’re doing very well. We’re following the guidelines of the medical profession. We’re following the guidelines of the experts, the Dr. Faucis of the world,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
And pointing to the latest national and key battleground state public opinion polls – which currently indicate Biden with a lead or an advantage over Trump – the former vice president said that “we’re doing very well and, matter of fact, we’re winning if you look at all the polling data.”
But he cautioned that “I’m not saying that’s going to last until November. I don’t know enough to know that.”
With Americans following social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, all large-scale events and gatherings have been scrapped, which has made holding traditional campaign events like rallies and town halls impossible. Political campaigns have improvised, holding their interactions with voters and supporters and their fundraisers virtually.
Biden emphasized that “right now the idea that somehow we are being hurt by my keeping to the rules and following the instructions that are put forward by the docs is absolutely bizarre. I reject the premise that somehow this is hurting is. There is no evidence of that.”
“I’m anxious to go out and campaign,” he added. “I enjoy interfacing with people. I’m not trying to avoid it. I’m trying to set an example as to how we should proceed in terms of dealing with this health and economic crisis.”
And he scolded Trump, saying: “the president should follow the rules instead of showing up at places without a mask.”
While Biden may be “anxious” to resume traditional campaigning, he hasn’t taken questions from reporters in a news conference setting since his last virtual briefing on April 2. But the former vice president does do multiple interviews each day with local and national news organizations.
The president has regularly fielded questions from reporters at White House briefings – including Monday in the Rose Garden.
Biden's also been criticized for the technical snafus that have hindered some of his virtual campaigning, including a major audio problem during his online rally with Florida supporters last week that made it difficult to understand what he was saying.
Biden spoke the morning after Trump – pushing back against criticism that he hasn’t done enough to test Americans for coronavirus as cases of the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus have soared – touted that America’s conducted more tests than any other country.
“We have met the moment and we have prevailed,” he said. The president highlighted that the U.S. should surpass 10 million completed tests by the end of this week, which he noted is “nearly double the number of any other country.”
The president and administration officials stood in front huge banners that proclaimed: “America leads the world in testing.”
But the tests conducted to date are equivalent to less than 3 percent of the nation’s population.
Biden took aim at the president, saying “anyone can’t get a test around the country. Granted, more tests are coming forward but look, this needless complacency that the president has engaged in from the very beginning – he knew about this crisis all the way back in January and February. He’s been incompetent in the way which he’s responded to it.”
And he added that “this is just fantasy land what he’s talking about.”
Biden spoke minutes after he was formally endorsed by voting rights advocate and ex-state lawmaker Stacey Abrams of Georgia.
The former Democratic leader in the Georgia House of Representatives in 2018 became the first African-American woman to become a major party gubernatorial nominee. Abrams – who narrowly lost the 2018 election – is considered one of the leading contenders as Biden begins the process of choosing a running mate.
“Vice President Biden is the leader America needs — a leader who will restore dignity, competence and compassion to the Oval Office while restoring America's moral leadership around the world. His commitment to fighting climate change, leading an economic recovery for all, and protecting every eligible American's right to vote are among the many reasons why he must be the next President of the United States,” Abrams said in a statement.
Fox News' Adam Shaw, Allie Raffa and Brian Flood contributed to this report.
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