President Donald Trump mocked Joe Biden at a Nevada rally on Sunday by saying Biden would "listen to the scientists" regarding the coronavirus.
The president also claimed Biden "wants to lock down," a misrepresentation of the former vice president's publicly stated position.
Trump has repeatedly sidelined or misrepresented mainstream scientific advisors and authorities during the pandemic.
President Donald Trump ridiculed his Democratic rival Joe Biden on the campaign trail on Sunday by saying that if elected, Biden would "listen to the scientists" when it came to handling the coronavirus.
The words, said in a mock-serious tone at a Nevada rally, came as Trump contrasted his ambivalence toward his scientific advisors with how Biden might approach the pandemic.
"If you vote for Biden, he will surrender your jobs to China. He will surrender your future to the virus," Trump said. "He's going to lock down — this guy wants to lock down. He'll listen to the scientists.
"If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression instead of — we're like a rocket ship, take a look at the numbers."
While the US economy has started to recover from the initial impact of the pandemic, it is still badly damaged. Official employment figures for September missed expectations, as Business Insider's Ben Winck reported.
Biden has said he would be prepared lock down the country if the pandemic worsened and scientists advised him to do so, according to Politico.
But Trump's exaggerated assertion on Sunday about Biden's desire to lock down appeared to pick up from a quote attributed to the Democrat — that spread widely on Facebook — in which Biden supposedly said he would "lock down our nation until we have our vaccine ready, and everyone is vaccinated," according to the Associated Press.
There is no public record of Biden saying this, and the Biden campaign said it was "completely fabricated," according to the AP.
Trump has diverged from the scientific consensus of his advisors and health authorities throughout the pandemic. In February, he was furious that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had warned of the looming seriousness of the virus, according to The Washington Post.
The top US infectious-diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who sits on the White House coronavirus task force, has been repeatedly sidelined by the president. He recently said Trump was "in effect harassing" him by using a clip of his words out of context in a campaign ad.
Trump has also repeatedly said that he stood alone against his advisors for the decision to restrict most travel to the US from China in January. The veteran journalist Bob Woodward wrote in his book "Rage," however, that at least five of Trump's top advisors were in favor of such action.
In a statement sent to Axios, a Biden campaign representative, Andrew Bates, said: "Donald Trump tanked the strong economy he inherited from the Obama-Biden administration by continually discounting and attacking warnings from the scientific and medical experts working around the clock to save lives.
"Now new coronavirus cases are surging and layoffs are rising."
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