Trump says he's open to speaking to Biden about coronavirus

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE on Wednesday said he would “absolutely” take a call from presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to discuss the response to the coronavirus. 

“Oh absolutely. I’d love to speak to him,” Trump said during a White House coronavirus briefing. 

“I always found him to be a nice guy,” he added.

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Trump expressed an openness to speaking with his potential general election opponent after first chiding him as "sleepy Joe."

The Biden campaign said earlier Wednesday that the former vice president offered to call Trump and talk about how best to combat the pandemic, which has killed thousands of Americans.

"Vice President BidenJoe Biden White House: US has donated 200 million COVID-19 vaccines around the world Police recommend charges against four over Sinema bathroom protest K Street revenues boom MORE has been extending his advice for months, and he did so again on the air last night. As he has said repeatedly, Donald Trump is not accountable for coronavirus itself — but he is accountable for the federal government's slow and chaotic response to this outbreak," Biden's deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, said in a statement.

Biden has been critical of Trump's handling of the coronavirus to date, questioning why he has not used the Defense Production Act more liberally and urging the president to step aside in favor of allowing the administration's scientists to speak.

White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayEthics watchdog accuses Psaki of violating Hatch Act Biden administration competency doubts increase Cook Political Report shifts Virginia governor's race to 'toss-up' MORE criticized Biden on Wednesday morning for not calling Trump to offer assistance or support amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump said last month that he had not reached out to any of his predecessors for guidance on handling the pandemic, saying he did believe he would learn anything from doing so.

In defending his own administration's performance, Trump has regularly chided the Obama administration for its response to the swine flu. The swine flu killed more than 12,000 Americans. 

The White House on Tuesday unveiled projections that showed as many as 240,000 Americans could die of the coronavirus even with strong mitigation measures in place.