Former Vice President Joe Biden has spent the majority of the COVID-19 epidemic criticizing the Trump Administration, as he prepares to take on President Trump at the ballot box in November. The presumptive Democratic nominee claimed that President Trump did not take action early enough, and made zero effort to send US medical experts to China as the virus began to spread in early January.
“I said, among others, that, you know, you should get into China, get our experts there, we have the best in the world, get them in so we know what’s actually happening...There was no effort to do that,” Biden claimed in a virtual town hall with CNN last week.
Factcheck.org, an arm of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Public Policy, refuted the former vice president’s claim:
“On January 6, we offered to send a CDC team to China that could assist with these public health efforts,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a Jan. 28 press conference. “I reiterated that offer when I spoke to China’s Minister of Health on Monday, and it was reiterated again via the World Health Organization today. We are urging China: More cooperation and transparency are the most important steps you can take toward a more effective response.”
More than a week later, Azar said again at a Feb. 7 press conference that “our longstanding offer to send world-class experts to China to assist remains on the table.”
.@factcheckdotorg: "Joe Biden was wrong when he said that the Trump administration made no effort to get U.S. medical experts into China as the novel coronavirus epidemic spread there early this year."https://t.co/jgmQJhcUjO— America Rising (@AmericaRising) April 2, 2020
Despite using the COVID-19 crisis to boost himself electorally, Biden “offered” to talk with President Trump about combating the crisis, and the president said on Wednesday that he would gladly take the call:
Trump said he‘d take the call, and, as a former Vice President, Biden certainly knows how to get a call through White House switchboard. https://t.co/805HP69H39— Philip Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) April 1, 2020
NBC News: Biden campaign says they'll arrange a call with Trump to talk coronavirus response— Jesse Rodriguez (@JesseRodriguez) April 2, 2020