Speaking with Atlanta Journal-Constitution correspondent Tia Mitchell at the joint virtual convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists, former Vice President Joe Biden shared how he and his campaign are staying up to date with the coronavirus pandemic. The presumptive Democratic nominee also weighed in on the risks of reopening schools without a proper plan in place and criticized President Trump’s response to the pandemic so far.
- Mr. Vice President, how often are you being briefed on the pandemic? And in who's in charge of keeping you up to date on what's going on?
JOE BIDEN: Four times a week, an hour a day. I just went through an 87 page memo with my team, including Vivek Murthy, who you know, and other docs, former heads of the CDC that are part of an entire team that I have. And we put together go through it at least four times a week.
And I spent an hour and a half today on the telephone. I mean, excuse me, on what we're doing right now, on camera.
- So based on what you've heard, you know a lot of people are concerned about schools. Do you think children should be in schools in person while we're waiting on a vaccine to be developed?
JOE BIDEN: The answer is it depends. Look, I want our schools to open. The question is, will the President do the work it needs to make them safe. Just ordering schools to open, like Trump has done, isn't going to be good enough. I've laid out a roadmap to reopen schools safely and effectively. First, get the cases down in the communities through social distances, masking, testing, tracing, and PPE. Second, give school districts uniform guidance without political interference on effectively and safely-- the safety protocols, including ventilation, physical changes in classrooms.
And third, give those districts the resources to implement the guidance. Studies show that we need $34 billion to make schools safe nationwide. For schools that can't reopen safely, help them improve the virtual learning. Start working now to close the learning gap in terms of distance learning because of COVID. President Trump should stop tweeting and start doing his work.