Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory movement, “mortifying” and “dangerous,” and suggested its believers consider seeking mental health care.
He also criticized President Donald Trump for pushing “bizarre” conspiracy theories himself.
“If the president doesn’t know better — which I, he has to know better — then my Lord, we’re in much more trouble than I ever thought we were,” Biden said at a press conference on Friday when pressed to comment on QAnon and Trump’s refusal to reject the movement.
Referring to himself as a “big supporter of mental health,” Biden said he’d “recommend the people who believe [in QAnon] should maybe take advantage of it while it still exists in the Affordable Care Act.”
“It’s bizarre. Totally bizarre. And now, have you guys found that planeload of people in uniforms and weapons, flying around? Have you found them yet?” the former vice president continued, referring to a baseless conspiracy theory repeated by Trump this week that a plane “loaded with thugs” had attempted to disrupt the Republican National Convention.
“What in God’s name are we doing? Look at how it makes us look around the world. It’s mortifying, it’s embarrassing and it’s dangerous,” Biden said of QAnon.
Followers of QAnon, which has been identified by the FBI as a potential domestic terrorism threat, believe that an individual nicknamed “Q” has been dropping “breadcrumbs” of information online about Trump and other high-profile individuals.
Among the wild conspiracy theories pushed by QAnon believers — some of whom have been implicated in criminal behavior in recent years, including kidnappings and murder — include the claim that Trump has been working to uncover a “deep state” cabal of Satan-worshipping and child-trafficking liberals and Hollywood elites.
Trump said last month that he “appreciates” the support of QAnon believers who, he said, “like me very much.”
“I don’t know much about the movement, other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” he said. “I have heard that is gaining in popularity … I’ve heard these are people that love our country.”