Biden on quarantine timelines: 'Worst thing you can do is raise expectations and then watch them get dashed'

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFauci says school should be open 'full blast' five days a week in the fall Overnight Defense: Military sexual assault reform bill has votes to pass in Senate l First active duty service member arrested over Jan. 6 riot l Israeli troops attack Gaza Strip Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart MORE said Sunday that the worst thing the government could do is “raise false expectations” about the quarantine time periods. 

NBC’s Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddGOP divided over expected Cheney ouster Sunday shows - White House COVID-19 response coordinator says US is 'turning the corner' Hogan: GOP devolving into 'circular firing squad' with Cheney ouster MORE asked the Democratic presidential frontrunner on “Meet the Press” how he would convey to American residents that they may have to continue social distancing in their homes for at least another 60 days.

Biden responded that the American public is “really strong and tough” and deserves to hear the “unvarnished truth.”

“The American people have never shied away from being able to deal with the truth,” Biden said. “The worst thing you can do is raise false expectations and then watch them get dashed – then, they begin to lose confidence in their leadership.”

Some scientists have suggested that the economy could not reopen until at least June, but there are conflicting messages coming from the government, with President TrumpDonald TrumpProject Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments: report Cheney: Fox News has 'a particular obligation' to refute election fraud claims The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? MORE saying last week he hoped to reopen by Easter Sunday.

In the meantime, millions of people are in cities or states that have issued "stay-at-home" orders forbidding them from leaving their homes except in specific circumstances.

The former vice president said the country should encourage scientists to speak out their recommendations and analysis amid the crisis.

Biden said if he were president now he would implement the Defense Production Act to ensure private companies were enlisted to develop ventilators, masks, gowns and other equipment for first responders and doctors. 

“Why are we waiting? We know they’re needed. They’re going to be increasingly needed,” he said. 

The candidate added he would be addressing the next stage of funding needed because the three stages of stimulus packages are “not going to be enough to get us all the way through this.”

“There’s a number of things that I’d be doing, Chuck, that are not being done right now,” he said. 

Biden also called on Trump to “get away from the childishness of this and focus on the problem” by listening to scientists and taking action. 

The U.S. has documented more than 124,700 cases of coronavirus, and almost 2,200 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The administration has worked with Congress to send funding to combat the virus in three stages so far as some lawmakers signal at least a fourth stage is needed.