“The View” appeared to give former Vice President Joe Biden a pass Tuesday, choosing not to ask him about his “irresponsible” comments during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.
The show’s original anchor Barbara Walters called Biden’s comments at the time “irresponsible,” while cohost Joy Behar added, “Joe Biden doesn’t remember he’s the Vice President sometimes. He thinks he’s playing card games with his friends in Atlantic City. I mean, I like the guy but I think that he doesn’t realize that he is number two…”
Biden joined ABC’s “The View” to discuss the ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic, and although the ladies on the show had been critical of his Swine Flu comments 11 years ago, not one of them mentioned those comments Tuesday. Instead, they asked how his response to coronavirus might differ from that of President Donald Trump — and gave him numerous chances to attack the administration.
Sunny Hostin was first to give Biden an opening to attack the president, saying, “You said that Trump has neglected, minimized and lied about the virus. I completely agree with that. And now you’re doing daily briefings on the virus from your home in Delaware. I thank you for that. Is this to counter the misinformation that Trump is putting out that you’ve referenced before?” (RELATED: ‘He Drove To Mar-a-Lago’: Meghan McCain Praises Tucker Carlson For Getting Trump To ‘Believe In This Virus’)
Biden responded by saying that, especially in times of crisis, the American people needed to feel confident in the information they were getting from those in leadership.
“The American people can handle the truth but what they can’t handle is something that’s not true that they believe in a moment and then they found out it’s not true. They lose confidence. The president has to be instilling confidence in the American people that we know how to deal with this virus,” he explained. “Look, all the way back in January the intelligence community was saying that it’s coming, we’re going to have a real problem with this virus. On January 27th I wrote a piece for U.S. News and world report saying we must be prepared, and it wasn’t taken seriously. We’re a day late and a dollar short, but now we’re catching up.”
Goldberg followed up with a questions about the economic response to coronavirus, asking, “What are the three first things you would do if you were president right now that would specifically help Americans?”
Biden responded by saying that some of the steps already being taken to give relief to American workers were moves in the right direction, touting the actions of Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Republican Ohio Governor Mike Dewyne.
Hostin jumped back in then to give Biden one more chance to attack Trump, saying, “Republicans have been reluctant to openly criticize the president’s initial response to the virus. Democrats haven’t. What do you say to Americans who feel that Democrats are in a way politicizing the issue and that we should be standing behind the president because this is an American problem?”
Biden’s response was diplomatic. “I think there’s truth to both sides,” he said. That’s why if you notice on what I’ve been doing, I’ve not been criticizing the president but I’ve been pointing out where there’s disagreement as to how to proceed. As I pointed out yesterday in a presentation I made online which I guess 3.5 million people watched it or something like that I was told, is that he’s not — the coronavirus is not his fault but the lack of speed with which to respond to it has to move much faster.”
Biden concluded by saying that he did not want the response to coronavirus to be political, he just wanted it to be effective.