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Coronavirus: Biden labels Trump a ‘fool’ over face masks

World News | Published:

Mr Biden said a number of US deaths would have been prevented if it were not for Mr Trump’s ‘lack of attention and ego’.

Joe Biden has called his presumptive rival for the US presidency Donald Trump a “fool” who was “stoking deaths” with his stance on wearing face masks amid the pandemic.

Mr Biden wore a facial covering during his first public appearance in more than two months at a Memorial Day wreath laying in Delaware.

White House incumbent Mr Trump retweeted a post which appeared to make fun of Mr Biden’s precautions against Covid-19.

“He’s supposed to lead by example.”

The former vice president also noted that nearly 100,000 Americans have been killed by the virus and suggested that as many as half of those deaths were avoidable but for Mr Trump’s “lack of attention and ego”.

Joe Biden saw off Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in the race to become the Democratic candidate
Joe Biden saw off Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in the race to become the Democratic candidate (Matt Rourke/AP)

But the issue has become increasingly politically charged, with Mr Trump refusing to wear a mask and polls finding that conservative Americans are more likely to forgo them as well.

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Mr Biden did not wear a mask during the CNN interview, which was conducted outside his house, but he sat more than three metres from the reporter.

“It’s just absolutely this macho stuff,” Mr Biden said of Mr Trump bristling at wearing a mask in public, a practice the former vice president called being “falsely masculine”, adding: “It’s cost people’s lives.”

President Donald Trump has declined to wear a mask
US President Donald Trump has declined to wear a mask (Evan Vucci/AP)

Asked about that during a subsequent event in the White House Rose Garden, the president responded: “Biden can wear a mask.

“But he was standing outside with his wife, perfect conditions, perfect weather.

“They’re inside, they don’t wear masks and so I thought it was very unusual that he had one on. But I thought that was fine. I wasn’t criticising him at all. Why would I ever do a thing like that?”

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