Campaign

Biden accuses Trump of 'stoking deaths,' being 'falsely masculine'

Former Vice President Joe Biden slammed President Trump in an interview on Tuesday, accusing him of stoking coronavirus deaths in the U.S. through not setting a good example for the public.

"It's stoking deaths. That's not going to increase the likelihood of people being better off," Biden told CNN's Dana Bash in his first in-person interview since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. "Presidents are supposed to lead, not engage in folly and be falsely masculine."

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee went on to criticize Trump for not setting a good example for the public through measures such as wearing a mask.

"He's a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way," he said. "Every leading doctor in the world is saying you should wear a mask when you're in a crowd."

Trump shared a tweet from Fox News political analyst Brit Hume on Tuesday in which Hume mocked a photo of Biden wearing a mask and sunglasses during a Memorial Day ceremony in Delaware on Monday. 

The president did not wear a mask to a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony on Monday, marking a contrast with his likely 2020 rival.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a briefing on Tuesday that it was "peculiar" that Biden wore a mask outside but does not wear a mask inside next to his wife.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing a mask in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. 

The developments come as the U.S. coronavirus death toll approaches 100,000.

Trump praised his administration's response to the pandemic on Tuesday, arguing on Twitter that the pandemic would have been worse if his administration did not act. 

"For all of the political hacks out there, if I hadn't done my job well, & early, we would have lost 1 1/2 to 2 Million People, as opposed to the 100,000 plus that looks like will be the number," Trump wrote. "That's 15 to 20 times more than we will lose. I shut down entry from China very early!"

Outbrain