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Trump Slams Biden Over COVID Response

'I would say stop playing politics with the virus'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 14, 2020 4:44 AM CDT
Updated Aug 14, 2020 6:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump on Thursday attacked Joe Biden for calling on governors to mandate that all Americans wear masks for the next three months, accusing the Democratic presidential candidate of politicizing an issue Trump himself has used for political gain in recent months. Trump claimed Biden has been wrong about the coronavirus pandemic at every turn, "ignoring the scientific evidence and putting left-wing politics before facts and evidence." Trump went on to falsely say that Biden was advocating for the president to use executive power to institute a nationwide mask mandate and that Biden was in favor of “locking all Americans in their basements for months on end,” the AP reports. "To Joe, I would say stop playing politics with the virus," Trump said at the White House press briefing.

Biden did not call for an executive order, but did at an earlier campaign event call for the institution of "a mask mandate nationwide, starting immediately." Biden clarified, however, that it should be left up to the governors to make mask-wearing mandatory. Trump spent the early months of the pandemic refusing to wear a mask during public appearances, ridiculing reporters who wore them, and retweeting messages making fun of Biden for wearing a mask and implying that he looks weak. Trump first wore a mask in public about a month ago, during a visit to a military hospital, and has since expressed support for them at times. On Thursday, he said it's patriotic for Americans to wear masks, but added, “maybe they're great, and maybe they're just good. Maybe they're not so good."

(Read more President Trump stories.)

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