Trump tried to attack Biden by saying his opponent would 'listen to the scientists' in dealing with COVID-19
- President Donald Trump mocked Joe Biden at a Nevada rally on Sunday by saying Biden would "listen to the scientists" on coronavirus.
- The president also claimed that Biden "wants to lock down," a misrepresentation of his publicly stated position.
- Trump has repeatedly sidelined or misrepresented mainstream scientific advisors and authorities during the pandemic.
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President Donald Trump ridiculed Democratic nominee Joe Biden on the campaign trail on Sunday by saying Biden will "listen to the scientists" when it comes to handling the coronavirus.
The words, said in a mock-serious tone at a Nevada rally, came as Trump contrasted his ambivalence towards his scientific advisors with how Biden might approach the pandemic.
"If you vote for Biden … he will surrender your future to the virus," said Trump. "He's going to lock down, this guy wants to lock down. He'll listen to the scientists.
"If I listened totally to the scientists we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression instead of — we're like a rocket ship, take a look at the numbers," he continued.
While the US economy has started to recover after the initial impact of the pandemic, it is still badly damaged. Official employment figures published Friday missed expectations, as Business Insider's Ben Winck reported.
Joe Biden has said that he would be prepared lock down the country if the pandemic worsened and scientists advised him to do so, according to Politico.
But Trump's exaggerated assertion on Sunday about Biden's desire to lock down appeared to pick up from a quote attributed to the Democrat, that spread widely on Facebook, in which Biden supposedly said he will "lock down our nation until we have our vaccine ready, and everyone is vaccinated," according to the Associated Press (AP).
There is no public record of Biden saying this, and the Biden campaign said it was "completely fabricated," according to the AP.
Trump has diverged from the scientific consensus of his advisors and health authorities throughout the pandemic. In February, he was furious that the CDC had warned of the looming seriousness of the virus, according to The Washington Post.
Top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci, who sits on the White House coronavirus task force, has been repeatedly sidelined by the president. He recently claimed Trump was "in effect harassing" him by using a clip of his words out of context in a campaign advert.
Trump has also claimed that he stood alone against his advisors for the decision to restrict travel from China in January. However, at least five of his top advisors were in fact in favor of such action, according to veteran journalist Bob Woodward in his book "Rage."
In a statement sent to Axios, Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates said: "Donald Trump tanked the strong economy he inherited from the Obama-Biden administration by continually discounting and attacking warnings from the scientific and medical experts working around the clock to save lives.
"Now new coronavirus cases are surging and layoffs are rising."
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