“I would shut it down. I would listen to the scientists,” Biden told “ABC World News Tonight” anchor David Muir in a clip released Friday, ahead of the full interview, which will air Sunday and also features vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.
Biden said he was “prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus.”
He continued: “That is the fundamental flaw of this administration’s thinking to begin with. In order to keep the country running and moving and the economy growing and people employed, you have to fix the virus, you have to deal with the virus.”
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, continues to face widespread criticism for his administration’s disastrous handling of the pandemic.
Trump downplayed the risks posed by COVID-19 for months at the start of the pandemic as cases surged worldwide. He later pushed for the premature easing of lockdown restrictions, against the advice of public health experts, in a bid to boost the economy ahead of the 2020 election.
The president has also hyped unproven treatments for the disease and sent mixed messages on the need to wear masks to prevent its spread.
The virus has now killed more than 170,000 people nationwide.
In other preview clips of the interview, both Biden and Harris criticized and dismissed Trump’s recent attacks on Harris, which have included calling her “nasty” and a “madwoman,” and leaning into a racist birther conspiracy theory about her.
“I think that there is so much about what comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth that is designed to distract the American people from what he is doing every day,” Harris said. “That is about neglect, negligence and harm to the American people.”