“Look, anybody who contracts the virus by essentially saying, ‘masks don’t matter, social distancing doesn’t matter,’ I think is responsible for what happens to them,” Biden said during an NBC News town hall with Lester Holt.
Biden suggested that if members of the socially distanced audience at the televised event in Miami were to remove their masks and “all of a sudden got in a gaggle and started talking to one another” then “they’re taking responsibility that, in fact, they should be held responsible for.”
“Because every major scientist and doctor and immunologist has said that’s a very dangerous thing to do,” Biden continued. The former vice president also said he viewed wearing a mask “not so much as protecting me, but as a patriotic responsibility” to protect others.
Check out Biden’s comments here:
Trump tested positive for the coronavirus last week after months of publicly downplaying the contagion and ignoring his own government’s guidelines on wearing masks and social distancing. He has held multiple crowded campaign rallies featuring maskless fans and has repeatedly mocked Biden for his face coverings.
In private, however, Trump told journalist Bob Woodward in February that he was aware of the “deadly” nature of the disease that has now killed more than 210,000 people in the U.S. Biden, meanwhile, has advocated face masks.
After three days of hospitalization for COVID-19 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Trump returned to the White House on Monday night but faced immediate backlash for removing his mask in front of the cameras, while he was still likely highly contagious.
The Biden campaign pointed out the stark difference between the two candidates’ views on masks with this tweet:
- Get the latest coronavirus updates here.
- What will life be like once a coronavirus vaccine arrives?
- Everything you need to know about face masks right now.
- What should you still be disinfecting to prevent COVID-19?
- Is it possible you had coronavirus earlier this year?
- Constantly arguing with your partner about coronavirus risks? You are not alone.
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BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place