During his first trip to Florida since securing the Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden attended a roundtable discussion with veterans in Tampa and spoke with WFLA about the coronavirus pandemic, anti-racism protests, and how he's looking forward to debating President Trump later this month.
Biden said that it's important to spring into action once there is a surge of COVID-19 cases, and "No. 1, we have to get in place same-day testing and do it quickly. Move on it, move on it, make it nationwide." There also has to be enough personal protecting equipment, like masks and gloves, ready to be immediately distributed to medical workers and first responders. As president, Biden said he would also "encourage everyone to wear a mask. I would encourage every governor to make it a mandate in their state."
Once COVID-19 is under control, that's when the economy will be able to turn around, Biden said. In Florida, there are work opportunities in the hospitality industry, and there could also be jobs sanitizing and creating personal protective equipment. "Very little of that is being done," Biden said. "That's how we get people back to work. Overall, not just the hospitality industry, we can significantly increase manufacturing by making sure we make it in America."
Biden also fired back at Trump surrogates who have claimed he isn't condemning violence when it breaks out after anti-racism and anti-police brutality demonstrations. "There's no justification for violence in a protest," Biden said. "None. Zero. No matter who commits it, none. A protest is the ability to go out and speak and make your case. But no violence. All of it should be condemned, across the board."
The first presidential debate is set for Sept. 29 in Cleveland, and when asked if he's looking forward to it, Biden responded in the affirmative. Trump has called Biden a "disaster" and said he doesn't expect much out of him at the debate, remarks Biden shrugged off. "He's a fool," Biden said. "The comments are just foolish. Get ready, Mr. President. Here I come."