FORMER VP JOE BIDEN, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The answer is yes, but I think you’ve got to – the president is supposed to lead by example. And I watched the president yesterday wearing no mask, you know? And some making fun of the fact I wore a mask.
The truth of the matter is that I think you’re supposed to lead by example, and one of the things our governor has said he wants to keep social distancing, stay at home has been the order, until June 1 of this year.
And so I think it’s important that – look, 100,000 deaths and at least 35,000 to 50,000 were avoidable, but for lack of attention and ego, I think. And just – so – and you know me, I’m usually the last one to leave an event, I like interacting with people. But, I hope to be able to do more, but we’re going to do it by the numbers, because I think it’s important because this is not over.
DANA BASH, CNN: You mentioned the mask – that you wore a mask yesterday, President Trump went to a Memorial Day service, he did not wear a mask. It’s not just some people making fun of you, he did.
BASH: He did on Twitter, he retweeted a photo of you wearing it – he’s trying to belittle you for wearing a mask, making it seem like it’s a sign of weakness, is it?
BIDEN: He’s a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way. I mean, every leading doc in the world is saying we should wear a mask when you’re in a crowd, and especially when you know you’re going to be in a position where you’re going to inadvertently get closer than 12 feet to somebody. I know we’re 12 feet apart, I get that.
But it’s just absolutely this macho stuff, and for a guy – I shouldn’t get going. But it just has – it’s cost people’s lives, it’s costing people’s lives, and like I said we’re almost 100,000 dead today – 100,000 people. Columbia study showing that we could have – if he just started a week earlier would have saved thousands of lives. I mean, these are – this is a tragedy.
BASH: But wearing a mask has become a cultural and political flashpoint, and the president is involved in that, even stoking that.
BIDEN: Sure he is. And it’s stoking deaths, that’s not going to increase the likelihood that people are going to be better off.
BASH: So do you think wearing a masks projects strength or weakness?
BIDEN: Leadership. What it presents and projects is leadership. Presidents are supposed to lead, not engage in folly and be falsely masculine. It reminds me of the guys that I grew up with playing ball. They’d walk around with a ball in their hand, but they didn’t like to hit very much.