- The Washington Times
Sunday, March 22, 2020

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden plans to begin live-streaming his own briefings on the coronavirus Monday, attempting to keep his Democratic presidential run relevant while the deadly virus sidelines his campaign.

He told donors in tele-fundraiser Sunday that it is time for Americans to come together in the face of a crisis, and he slammed President Trump and Republican lawmakers for botching economic rescue legislation.


“This is a time for this nation to come together because, folks, we’re all in this together. This virus doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat or Republican,” Mr. Biden, who is hunkered down at his home in Delaware, told the 72 donors on the conference call.

He said the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 does not discriminate based on gender, race, ethnicity or anything else.

“From the Great Depression to two world wars to 9/11, to the pandemic of 1918. This country has always overcome every crisis we faced in our history. We’re gonna overcome this one, too,” said Mr. Biden

Mr. Biden’s home has been outfitted with high-speed internet for his “shadow briefings” that will be broadcast from his home as a counterpoint to Mr. Trump’s daily press conferences on the federal response to the outbreak.

“They’ve converted a recreation room, basically, into a television studio. And so beginning tomorrow, I guess tomorrow, I’m making the first presentation at 11:30 a.m. thereabouts, Eastern Standard Time,” said Mr. Biden, who was closing in on the nomination when the outbreak all but closed down the presidential race.

The call Sunday was the Biden campaign’s second tele-fundraiser since the coronavirus struck the U.S.

An in-person fundraiser was originally scheduled to take place in Atlanta. Muhtar Kent, the former chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, hosted the conference call.

Mr. Biden said a president’s job in times of crisis was telling the American people the truth.

“We need to tell the American people the truth, the unvarnished truth: where things stand, where they’re heading, what has to be done to head it off,” he said. “The American people are going to do anything — they’ll do anything we ask them. They’ll meet any challenge, just as long as we tell them the truth. And that’s the responsibility of a president. That’s what the American people are owed.”

He also blamed the wrangling over the more than $1 trillion COVID-19 relief bill on Mr. Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican.

“There’s an impasse now because apparently, Mitch McConnell and the president are … changing the game plan,” said Mr. Biden.

Shortly after Mr. Biden’s call, Senate Democrats derailed the bill in a procedural vote.


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