“Look, anybody who contracts the virus by essentially saying, ‘masks don’t matter, social distancing doesn’t matter,’ I think is responsible for what happens to them,” Biden said during an NBC News town hall with Lester Holt.
Biden suggested that if members of the socially distanced audience at the televised event in Miami were to remove their masks and “all of a sudden got in a gaggle and started talking to one another” then “they’re taking responsibility that, in fact, they should be held responsible for.”
“Because every major scientist and doctor and immunologist has said that’s a very dangerous thing to do,” Biden continued. The former vice president also said he viewed wearing a mask “not so much as protecting me, but as a patriotic responsibility” to protect others.
Check out Biden’s comments here:
.@LesterHoltNBC: “65% of Americans think the president bears some responsibility for contracting this virus. Do you agree?”
Joe Biden: “Anybody who contracts the virus by essentially saying, ‘masks don’t matter, social distancing doesn’t matter,’ I think is responsible.” pic.twitter.com/xlOgyaxg61
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 6, 2020
Trump tested positive for the coronavirus last week after months of publicly downplaying the contagion and ignoring his own government’s guidelines on wearing masks and social distancing to curb its spread. He has held multiple rallies, at which supporters have been pictured maskless, and has also repeatedly mocked Biden for his face coverings.
In private, however, Trump told journalist Bob Woodward in February that he was aware of the “deadly” nature of the disease that has now killed almost 210,000 people in the U.S. alone. Biden, meanwhile, has extolled the benefits of wearing a mask on multiple occasions.
Following treatment for his COVID-19 diagnosis at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Trump returned to the White House on Monday night but faced immediate backlash for removing his mask in front of the cameras, while he was still likely highly contagious.
The Biden campaign on Monday night pointed out the stark difference between the two candidates’ views on masks with this tweet:
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