Joe Biden campaign says it will arrange call with Trump about coronavirus

“Our teams will be in touch and we will arrange a call,” said Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, in a statement Wednesday evening.

The potential steps toward a call come after Trump was asked about Biden’s offer to speak with him at his daily coronavirus press briefing.

“I would absolutely take his call,” Trump said. “I would love to speak with him, sure.”

The campaign had vaguely indicated willingness for a phone call earlier in the day, albeit with no concrete plan, after Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to the President, rebuked Biden for criticizing Trump’s coronavirus response.

“I find it petty and partisan and completely unhelpful to the American population to have a former vice president, who was here for eight years, in his bunker in Wilmington just lobbing criticisms, reading from prepared notes and not that well,” Conway said.

Biden, for his part, has pushed back on any notion that his comments might politicize the pandemic, saying in a television interview, “Everything that I have done has been designed to be constructive.”

He added, “The best I can do from my position is to lay out what I think should be done, how to do it, and when it’s not being done, say why the experts say, ‘This is what we should be doing. Let’s do it.’ “

The former vice president wrote an op-ed on January 27 admonishing Trump as the “worst possible” leader to deal with the outbreak.

“I am concerned that the Trump administration’s shortsighted policies have left us unprepared for a dangerous epidemic that will come sooner or later,” Biden wrote at the time, when the United States had only a handful of confirmed coronavirus cases.

He has since striven to remain a relevant voice in the national conversation as attention is focused on the virus by conducting television interviews and news briefings from a basement studio at his home in Wilmington, Delaware. His campaign has released several digital coronavirus-related ads, some directly criticizing Trump and another pitching Biden as an empathetic leader in an implicit contrast with the President.

Biden told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Wednesday afternoon that the President needs to act like a wartime president during the struggle against the pandemic.

“The President said he’s a wartime president. This is a war against this virus. He should act like a wartime president,” the former vice president said.


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