Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said President Trump should step down over his coronavirus response during a town hall just outside of Scranton, Pa., on Thursday evening. 

“This is all about one thing, the stock market. He doesn’t want to see anything happen,” Biden said, answering a question about how he would get the right messaging out to Americans on how to protect themselves amid the pandemic. 

“It’s all about his reelection. It should be about the American people, and they’re in trouble,” he continued, before citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield’s recent comments urging Americans to wear masks in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. 

“You’ve got to level with the American people — shoot from the shoulder. There’s not been a time they’ve not been able to step up. The president should step down,” Biden said. 

Biden’s remarks come after Trump contradicted remarks Redfield made this week about a vaccine timeline, distribution and the effectiveness of masks. 

Redfield told Congress on Wednesday that a vaccine will not likely be available to the general public until the “second or third quarter” of next year, although he said it’s possible one will be available for first responders as early as November.

Additionally, Redfield called the use of masks “the most important, powerful public health tool we have” to combat the spread of the virus. 

“I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine,” Redfield said. 

Trump pushed back on the characterization, saying Redfield “just made a mistake” and that it was “incorrect information.” 

“I called him — I said, ‘What did you mean by that?’ ” Trump said. “I think he just made a mistake. … I think he misunderstood the question.”

There have been more than 6.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and more than 190,000 deaths. 

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