President Donald Trump said the Democratic ticket, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, should ‘immediately apologize for the reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric’ they’ve deployed during his North Portico press conference on Monday.
‘They’re political lies. They’ll say anything and it’s so dangerous for our country what they say,’ Trump went on. ‘But the vaccine will be very safe and very effective and it will be delivered very soon.’
At practically the same time on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania, Biden told reporters he would take a coronavirus vaccine ‘tomorrow’ even if it cost him the presidential race. Biden’s comments came after Harris said she wouldn’t trust Trump’s word on vaccine safety.
President Donald Trump demanded that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris apologize for their ‘reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric,’ during a Monday news conference on the White House’s North Portico
Trump lashed out at Biden and Harris a number of times during the press conference, which was held at an unusual location: the White House’s North Portico, which is essentially the executive mansion’s front porch
At the same time, Democratic nominee Joe Biden was telling reporters that he’d take a coronavirus vaccine ‘tomorrow’ even if it cost him the election, though also hit Trump for ‘undermining public confidence’ on healthcare issues
Vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, photographed during her trip Monday to Wisconsin, said in an interview with CNN that she wouldn’t trust Trump to be honest about a vaccine’s safety in the run-up to the presidential election
‘If I could get a vaccine tomorrow I’d do it, if it would cost me the election I’d do it,’ Biden responded when asked if he’d be comfortable taking a vaccine in the lead-up to the November 3 election.
‘One of the problems is the way he’s playing with politics,’ Biden said of Trump. ‘He’s said so many things that aren’t true. And I’m worried that if we do have a really good vaccine people are going to be reluctant to take it.’
Biden added that Trump was ‘undermining public confidence.’
In front of the White House’s front door, Trump began to make what was likely the same point about Biden and Harris.
‘And what’s happening is all of the sudden you’ll have this incredible vaccine and because of that fake rhetoric, it’s political rhetoric, just for politics,’ Trump said, not fully finishing the thought.
Later in the presser, Trump said Biden and Harris were ‘going to make the vaccine into the negative.’
The president also said he was hopeful that it would come out before a ‘special date,’ a clear nod to election day.
Harris had earlier said that she’d be dubious of any vaccine fast-tracked before election day, as the pandemic has made Trump’s re-election prospects more difficult.
‘I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about. I will not take his word for it,’ Harris said in an interview with CNN that was released Saturday.
She also feared members of of the medical community could potentially be silenced.
‘They’ll be muzzled, they’ll be suppressed, they will be sidelined,’ Harris said. ‘Because he’s looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days and he’s grasping to get whatever he can to pretend he has been a leader on this issue when he is not.’
Trump’s Monday presser was filled with digs at Biden and Harris.
‘Biden wants to surrender our country to the virus,’ Trump said at one point.
He also said Harris should be looked into carefully, suggesting that because Biden is 77, the California senator could become president.
‘You know he doesn’t have a clue,’ Trump also said. ‘In primetime he wasn’t good and now it’s not primetime.’
Trump also called his Democratic rival ‘a stupid person.’
At the press conference, Trump also brought up some of Biden’s family members, including name-dropping Biden’s son for his controversial business dealings abroad while Biden was serving as vice president.
‘His son. Where’s Hunter. I call him “Where’s Hunter,”‘ Trump said. ‘He walked away with a fortune from Ukraine, with China, and from other countries.’
Trump also blasted Biden’s brother, likely a reference to Frank, for some of his business dealings too.
Trump’s impeachment in December was based on a call he made to the Ukrainian president to pressure him to open an investigation into Hunter and Joe Biden.
‘You talk about a quid pro quo,’ Trump said Monday, which had been what was problematic about the call.
He told reporters they should be looking into his rival’s family members instead.
‘You should be ashamed of yourselves, the press should be ashamed of themselves,’ he told the small group of masked reporters sitting in chairs placed on the White House driveway.
Trump also spoke about The Atlantic article – which claimed, among other things, that he referred to American war dead as ‘losers’ and ‘suckers.’
Trump said soldiers were pro-Trump, but suggested the top brass at the Pentagon didn’t care for the president because he wasn’t pro endless wars, suggesting they were in the pocket of top defense companies.
Trump made similar complaints about Sen. John McCain on Monday.
‘John McCain liked wars. I will be a better warrior than anybody, but when we fight a war, we’re gonna win ’em,’ Trump said.
The Atlantic’s reporting said that Trump was furious when flags were flown half-staff for McCain’s funeral.