Biden: Trump's Handling of Pandemic 'Close to Criminal'

He holds first-ever drive-in town hall event
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2020 3:20 AM CDT
Biden Holds First-Ever Drive-in Town Hall
Joe Biden participates in a CNN town hall moderated by Anderson Cooper in Moosic, Pa., Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A first in presidential politics: Joe Biden appeared at a drive-in town hall event Thursday night, taking questions from voters near his hometown of Scranton, Pa. Voters at the event, held in a minor league baseball stadium parking lot, could ask questions from their cars or at a standing microphone, the Washington Post reports. The 35 cars were parked around the stage, with small groups of people sitting or standing around them. The CNN event was moderated by Anderson Cooper. Biden, who faced half a dozen questions on the coronavirus, slammed President Trump's downplaying of the pandemic as "close to criminal," the AP reports. "I never, ever thought I would see just such a thoroughly, totally irresponsible administration." He said that on a vaccine, he trusts Dr. Anthony Fauci—but not Trump.

Asked if he had benefited from white privilege, Biden said he had, but then turned the focus to his upbringing in Scranton and played up his lack of an Ivy League degree, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. He said he saw the race as a "campaign between Scranton and Park Avenue." "Guys like me, the first in my family to go to college ... we are as good as anybody else," he said. "And guys like Trump, who inherited everything and squandered what they inherited, are the people I’ve always had a problem with." Politico reports that the Trump campaign complained that Biden had gotten a "total pass" at the event, compared to the tougher questioning the president faced at his town hall event in Philadelphia Tuesday. (More Joe Biden 2020 stories.)

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