WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden says he wants to speak with President Donald Trump so that hopefully the president can “learn some lessons” from the Obama administration on how to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.
“We’ve been through this in a slightly different way in the past, and I hope they can learn some lessons from what we did right and maybe what we did wrong,” Biden said during a virtual press briefing on Thursday afternoon.
Biden’s aides have said they’re working to arrange a phone call with Trump to address his coronavirus response. The president said Wednesday that he would “love” to speak with the former vice president.
The prospective Democratic presidential nominee has touted his work in addressing the Ebola crisis that unfolded in 2014 as a possible model for how the federal government should deal with the current pandemic. But the current coronavirus outbreak has sickened and killed exponentially more individuals nationwide, with the infection rate topping 1 million on Thursday.
In recent weeks, Biden has offered his own proposals for dealing with the outbreak, which include expanding health care access, bolstering banks’ lending ability and pushing out supplies to hospitals faster. Biden said on Thursday that he hoped, in particular, that Trump would expand the use of the Defense Production Act, which would shift U.S. manufacturing capabilities to focus on creating urgently needed medical supplies. But he also said if he spoke with Trump, he wouldn’t try to claim credit for the president’s moves.
“I think there’s things that the president can use early on from the experience we had before and take a look at it, and if he did, I wasn’t going to be out there saying he took my idea,” Biden said. “It’s a matter of the president doing what can most effectively get things done now.”