- The Washington Times
Sunday, March 29, 2020

It’s not the kind of question you want to field when you’re the prohibitive frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, but there it was.

In an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd asked former Vice President Joseph R. Biden: “Do you feel a little bit frustrated and powerless right now?”

Mr. Biden said he didn’t, pointing out that he has been livestreaming during the coronavirus crisis from his basement in Delaware, drawing 20 million viewers last week.

“No, you know, it’s interesting,” Mr. Biden said. “We have a makeshift studio here in my basement. I guess like you’re doing it now as well. But the point is that I was surprised to find out just the events we did this past week, I mean, beginning last Monday, over 20 million people have viewed them and listened.”

Meanwhile, President Trump has seen his approval rating soar while pulling huge ratings for his near-daily COVID-19 press briefings, despite criticism from congressional Democrats who accuse him of not responding quickly enough to the pandemic.

The president has pointed out that he slapped travel restrictions on China in late January when Congress was focused on the impeachment debate.

Mr. Biden said he would do a few things differently than Mr. Trump has, such as invoking the Defense Production Act not just for ventilators, as the president has done, but also for hospital masks and gowns, as well as push for more funding.

“I’d also be talking about what the next stage of the funding we’re going to need,” Mr. Biden said. “We’ve gone through three stages. That’s not going to be enough to get us all the way through this. There’s a number of things I’d be doing, Chuck, that are not being done right now.”

Mr. Trump signed last week a $2.2 trillion stimulus package aimed at getting money to businesses, state governments and individuals as they struggle amid mass closures aimed at stopping the spread of the fast-moving virus.

Asked if he thought there was “blood on the president’s hands considering the slow response,” Mr. Biden demurred.

“I think that’s a little too harsh,” said Mr. Biden, who suggested that the president “should stop thinking out loud and start thinking deeply.”

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.