Show an ad over header. AMP

Joe Biden: I wasn't surprised Trump got the coronavirus

Joe Biden said in an NBC town hall Monday night that he was not surprised President Trump contracted COVID-19.

What he's saying: "Quite frankly, I wasn't surprised," the Democratic presidential nominee said when asked by MSNBC's Lester Holt if he was surprised Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus.


  • "For the last three months, three times a week, I'm on the telephone and on zoom with some of the leading immunologists in the nation, and they go through everything that's happening," Biden said.
  • "So the idea that COVID does not spread in proximity when you don't have a mask on, when you're not socially distancing, when there's large groups of people, when you're inside particularly and even when you're outside, that's not surprising" he added.
  • The former vice president reiterated his plan to implement to mandate that all people wear a mask on federal property.

Driving the news: Biden's comments came less than two hours after Trump departed the Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday evening to return to the White House via Marine One following three nights at the hospital for coronavirus treatment.

  • Upon reaching the White House, Trump took off his mask and saluted Marine One as photographers encircled him. He then walked into the White House, still maskless.

Other key town hall takeaways:

  • On last week's presidential debate: Biden said he was "trying to figure out how I could possibly have [Trump] respect the debate. Respect the evening. Respect the moderator. And get us an opportunity to speak.
  • "The one thing that became absolutely clear... he didn't want to answer any questions. He did not want to talk about substance," Biden said.
  • "It was all invective, all personal ... And I did get very frustrated. I did get frustrated. And I should have said this is a clownish undertaking instead of calling him a clown."
"I'll be very honest with you, I think it was embarrassing for the nation to see the president of the United States hectoring like he did and everything was about a personal attack."
  • On police reform: "We are going to bring all these interests together, peaceful protesters, police chiefs police officers, police unions, as well as a civil rights groups in the White House and sit down and decide what are the things that need to be done to improve and help police officers," Biden said.
  • "I'm the only one who's talked about increasing police budgets ... In addition to that, I am also proposing that we spend a significant more money on community policing."
  • On white supremacy: Biden said that one of the reasons he decided to run for president again was due to the "constant dog whistle" coming from Trump and his supporters.
  • Biden pointed to the death of Heather Heyer, who was killed by a neo-Nazi in Charlottesville in 2018: "When a young woman was innocently killed [in Charlottesville],… [Trump] said 'they're are very find people on both sides.' No president has ever said anything remotely like that. So there’s this constant dog whistle and it bothers me a lot."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Defense makes closing arguments in Chauvin trial

Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson opened his closing argument on Monday by reminding the jury that Derek Chauvin "does not have to prove his innocence."

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades.

Keep reading... Show less

Merrick Garland: Domestic terrorism is "still with us" and remains critical threat

In his first major speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned the nation Monday to remain vigilant against the rising threat of domestic extremism.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the nation this year, according to U.S. intelligence. Garland has already pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups.

Keep reading... Show less

"Nine minutes and 29 seconds": Prosecutors begin closing arguments in Chauvin trial

Steve Schleicher, an attorney for the prosecution in Derek Chauvin's trial, began closing arguments on Monday by describing in detail George Floyd's last moments — crying out for help and surrounded by strangers, as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial, seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades, will reverberate across the country and have major implications in the fight for racial justice.

Keep reading... Show less

European soccer goes to war over wealthy clubs' plans for exclusive "Super League"

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

Keep reading... Show less

81% of S&P 500 companies have reported a positive earnings surprise for Q1

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

Keep reading... Show less

NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hopping the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

Keep reading... Show less

All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, meeting Biden's April 19 deadline

All 50 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have now made U.S. adults over the age of 16 eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, meeting President Biden's April 19 deadline.

Why it matters: The landmark speaks to the increased pace of the national vaccination campaign, but will increase pressure on the federal government, states and pharmaceutical companies to provide adequate vaccine supply and logistics.

Keep reading... Show less

Minneapolis braces for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial

Minneapolis is waking up to images of an occupied city on Monday, as the city and the world await a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

What it's like: Residents running errands, picking up dinner and heading to the dog park in recent days encountered heavily-armed National Guard troops stationed throughout the city.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories