Joe Biden speaks to WBTV about pandemic, election in one-on-one interview

WBTV's Alex Giles interviews Joe Biden during visit to Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden spoke to WBTV in a one-on-one interview Wednesday afternoon.

Biden was in Charlotte to host a Black Economic Summit. During the event, he highlighted his plan to Build Back Better by Advancing Racial Equity Across the American Economy.

Following the summit, Biden took time to conduct a brief interview with WBTV. He answered questions about the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 election and affordable housing in Charlotte.

When asked about potentially handling the pandemic and aiding Americans who have been hampered by economic hardship, Biden explained that the situation will be dependent upon President Donald Trump’s impact on the country.

“Number one, it will depend on what this person leaves me,” said Biden. “It’s been a disaster so far. 200,000 people dead, projected between now and the end of the year, another 137,000 to 178,000 people will die. The president has to take control, has to take responsibility, set national standards, get this ridiculous failure to get testing under control so we can provide for testing, 24-hour testing,” explained Biden.

RAW: WBTV's Alex Giles interviews Joe Biden during visit to Charlotte

He also criticized Trump’s handling of schools during the pandemic.

“You need to help these schools open. You need to be in a position where we provide the kind of funding so we can have more teachers and smaller classes. You have to have sanitary conditions and a whole range of things. Set out national standards and make a case why it’s important to be done,” said the former vice president.

Biden said he meets with health professionals three to four times a week regarding the coronavirus pandemic. He explained that he would trust a COVID-19 vaccine as long as it was being recommended by certain people.

“I trust a vaccine based on who backs it up. If Dr. Fauci says it’s safe to take, if other leaders in the world say it’s safe to take, then yes, but not based on President Trump’s assertions,” explained Biden.

November’s presidential election is now just weeks away. President Donald Trump previously expressed concern over the use of mail-in voting, claiming in a July tweet that it could lead to an ‘inaccurate’ and ‘fraudulent’ election. WBTV asked Biden if he shared concerns about mail-in voting.

“The only concern I have is what he’ll try to do to ruin this election," the former vice president responded. “There’s no concern for mail-in ballots and by the way, he sits up in Washington on a resolute desk and he mails his ballot to vote absentee in Florida.”

Stakeholders in Charlotte have tried to make developing affordable housing a priority over the last few years. Biden said he has a plan to help promote affordable housing across the country. He said he will increase funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs, provide a tax credit to help first-time home buyers afford a down payment, and end redlining requirements.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Charlotte Thursday.

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