Huh. That headline sounds like something NewsBusters would write for an April Fool’s Day post. But, to borrow a favorite quote one of the two subjects of the post below, this was not a joke. On Tuesday afternoon’s CNN Newsroom, host Brooke Baldwin ended 2020 Democrat Joe Biden’s latest interview by gushing that “your strength” has been campaigning and making direct contact with voters (often through touch).
So, with the coronavirus pandemic upon us and the country ordered to continue social distancing measures, Baldwin wondered:
BALDWIN: Mr. Vice President, does that worry you?
BIDEN: No, it doesn't worry me. The thing that worries me is whether we get this under control. I'm not being false here. That's what worries me the most.
Baldwin continued on by dithering away about how much Biden’s learned about technology before concluding with his esoteric assertion that President Trump should “listen to the scientists now, now, now” (as if to infer he hasn’t been).
And in thanking Baldwin, Biden told her to “be careful.” They traded a total of five thank you’s, but it was nowhere near the creepy goodbye between Biden and MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace.
Going back to the beginning, Baldwin started by asking if he believed there should be a 50-state “stay-at-home” order, but Biden instead boasted of how the President must “listen to the scientists” and how the country fell behind on testing.
Baldwin moved on and instead lobbed this liberal softball: “You know, you said the President should stop misleading Americans. Do you believe he is doing so intentionally to paint a rosier picture?”
Biden replied that he “learned a long time ago never question a person's motive, but you can question their judgment,” so the former Vice President presumably didn’t give Baldwin entirely the answer she wanted, but not what some other CNNers would probably have wanted.
Before her question about Biden not being able to touch people, Baldwin asked if she agreed with the opinion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that President Trump was directly responsible for Americans who die from the coronavirus:
BALDWIN: That’s a bold accusation. Mr. Vice President, do you think President Trump is responsible for the deaths of Americans?
BIDEN: President Trump is not responsible for the coronavirus, but he is responsible for using all of the power at his disposal to be able to deal with this virus by changing the peak, getting down the curve, so that we move in a direction where instead of going up like this, we're going like this and he's been very slow to act[.]
Most notably, Baldwin refused to ask about the sexual misconduct allegations leveled by former congressional staffer Tara Reade. For more on those allegations and the media's silence, check out the latest study by the MRC's Bill D'Agostino and Rich Noyes here.
To see the relevant transcript, click “expand.”
CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
March 31, 2020
3:37 p.m. Eastern
BROOKE BALDWIN: The Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden is criticizing President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, Saying President Trump and the federal government should act, “more rapidly” and that “speed matters” in saving lives. So, joining me now, former vice president, Joe Biden. Mr. Vice President, it is nice to see you there and healthy and I hope your family is well, sir. Welcome.
JOE BIDEN: They are. Thank you, Brooke. Thanks for having me.
BALDWIN: So, President Trump was asked whether or not a federal lockdown will be instituted, and he said thus far that they are leaving it up to the states. What do you think? Should all 50 states issue stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of this thing?
BIDEN: Well, I think that is a matter we should listen to the scientists, folks like Dr. Fauci and others and my guess is you're going to see it happening more and more and more. One of the things we know is that it spreads with contact, to state the obvious and one of the things that helps is we have to do three things quickly, one, get more tests out there to find out who has the coronavirus. You had Vice President Pence saying several weeks ago there will be 4 million tests out there. We're nowhere near that now and in addition to that we have to make sure that we're able to follow like they did in South Korea, they brought down the numbers. Follow those who are infected, who they had spoken to, who they had not spoken to, who they had come in contact with, so we can track it back down to so it doesn't re-erupt and but you'll notice, most of the states are moving in that direction now. Tennessee and others did today and I think that's going to be where we're going to end up.
BALDWIN: We'll come back to your point about this worry that it will re-erupt in the fall, but just staying on President Trump for a moment. You know, you said the President should stop misleading Americans. Do you believe he is doing so intentionally to paint a rosier picture?
BIDEN: Well, you know, I've learned a long time ago never question a person's motive, but you can question their judgment and his judgment is that many things he says simply are not accurate. They're simply not accurate. Like yesterday he was talking to a bunch of governors on the telephone and he said the first time he heard about needing more tests was on that telephone call. Well, come on. I mean, I don't know where he's been. He's on --- he’s standing on the podium every single day speaking to all of his experts. We badly need more tests, for example and so, the things he says don't seem to comport with what everybody else knows and I wish he'd listen more to the scientists and think less about the political consequences like asking the governors if they --- the governors don't appreciate enough what he's doing. That the government is not a federal shipping clerk. The government, the federal government is in charge. The President said he's a war-time President. This is a war against this virus. He should act like a war-time president. He should have someone else in charge with him, making sure all of these things get implemented. It's not like we didn't know this was coming.
BALDWIN: He --- I hear you saying he's maybe thinking more about reelection. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took it farther, she was talking to Jake Tapper and said that she believes the President's failure to act early on cost American lives. That is a bold accusation. Mr. Vice President, do you think President Trump is responsible for the deaths of Americans?
BIDEN: President Trump is not responsible for the coronavirus, but he is responsible for using all of the power at his disposal to be able to deal with this virus by changing the peak, getting down the curve, so that we move in a direction where instead of going up like this, we're going like this and he's been very slow to act, for whatever the reason has been, been very slow to act on a whole range of things. For example, he still hasn't fully invoked the Defense Production Act, which I called for a while ago. He finally did with General Motors after a little roundabout in terms of building ventilators. What about the masks? What about those gowns that those nurses and doctors need? They're made of paper. What about --- what about the goggles they need, the face shields, what about the gloves they need? He can do that by the Defense Production Act right now. He could have done it yesterday, a week ago, three weeks ago, five weeks ago. They're in short supply and our first responders are literally risking and some losing their lives to try to help the American people.
BALDWIN: I've got a nurse who I'm talking to in just a moment who, of course, we're so incredibly grateful for. I do want to pivot and talk election. Of course, as a politician, you know, your strength really --- your strength is in traveling around the country and connecting with people, right? Connecting with voters, looking them in the eye, a hug, handshake, especially in these crucial months before the election and you can't do any of that right now. Mr. Vice President, does that worry you?
BIDEN: No, it doesn't worry me. The thing that worries me is whether we get this under control. I'm not being false here. That's what worries me the most. Number two, I'm also learning how to use the media you've mastered. I'm sitting in my basement, there is a television studio set up down here and I'm being told by the people who run this thing for me and staff that millions of people, over 20, 30 million people now have heard what I'm saying and what I'm thinking. That's just going to have to do and in the meantime, we have to focus on how do we get a handle on this virus, bring it to an end, reduce the number of deaths and cases in the first instance dramatically, and it can be done if we move and listen to the scientists now, now, now.
BALDWIN: Vice President Biden, thank you for your time, sir. Be well.
BIDEN: Thank you. You too. Be careful.
BALDWIN: Thank you. Thank you.
BIDEN: Careful. Thank you.