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  • >> James: WELCOME BACK.

  • OUR FIRST GUEST IS THE FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED

  • STATES AND PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR

  • PRESIDENT, THE ONE AND ONLY JOE BIDEN!

  • HOW ARE YOU, SIR?

  • DOING WELL?

  • >> I'M DOING WELL.

  • A LOT OF PEOPLE OUT THERE HURTING VERY BADLY, BUT WE'RE

  • DOING WELL.

  • WE'RE HERE, IN THE BASEMENT OF MY HOME, WHICH IS TURNED INTO A

  • TELEVISION STUDIO.

  • I'M NOT VERY FAMILIAR WITH IT.

  • I GET TO ZOOM AND TALK WITH MY GRANDKIDS AND SON AND DAUGHTER.

  • SO, YOU KNOW -- >> James: YOU'RE IN YOUR

  • BASEMENT, I'M IN MY GARAGE.

  • THIS WAS NEVER THE CIRCUMSTANCES WITH WHICH I THOUGHT WE WOULD

  • EVER MEET.

  • >> NO.

  • MINE EITHER.

  • BUT I'M JUST GLAD I'M NOT IN YOUR CAR BECAUSE I CAN'T SING

  • WORTH A DAMN.

  • >> James: WELL MAYBE WE'LL FIND OUT ONE DAY.

  • WE'LL SEE.

  • >> OH, NO.

  • I TELL YOU, MY DAD, WHEN HE WAS A KID USED TO HAVE A BAND, AND

  • HE PLAYED THE CAR NET AND SAXOPHONE, HE COULD SING AND

  • DANCE, AND HE SAID, JOEY, I DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU CAME FROM,

  • YOU HAVE NO LIP, YOU CAN'T PLAY A READ INSTRUMENT, CAN'T CARRY A

  • TUNE IN A BARREL, HAVE TWO LEFT FEET, BUT I LOVE YOU ANYWAY.

  • HE WAS RIGHT BACK THEN.

  • >> James: MY DAD IS ALSO A CLARINET AND SAXOPHONE PLAYER.

  • >> IS THAT RIGHT?

  • >> James: YEAH, BUT I HAVE NO MUSICAL ABILITY WITH ANY

  • INSTRUMENT EVER.

  • I REALLY WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THIS, VICE PRESIDENT,

  • BECAUSE BACK ON JANUARY 27, YOU WROTE AN OP-ED PIECE IN

  • "USA TODAY" WHERE YOU SAID I AM CONCERNED WE ARE UNPREPARED FOR

  • A DANGEROUS EPIDEMIC.

  • WHAT WAS IT THAT ALARMED YOU ABOUT THIS VIRUS QUITE SO EARLY,

  • LIKE WHEN YOU FIRST HEARD ABOUT IT?

  • >> WELL, FIRST OF ALL, WHAT ALARMED ME WAS THAT WORD CAME

  • OUT OF -- THAT THE FIRST CASE IN KOREA -- IN SOUTH KOREA AND THE

  • UNITED STATES HIT ABOUT THE SAME TIME.

  • IT WAS CLEAR TO ME FROM WHEN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

  • TRANSITIONED FROM US TO THEM THAT THEY HAD NO INTEREST IN

  • TALKING ABOUT PANDEMICS.

  • WE WARNED THEM ABOUT THEM, WE WERE CONCERNED THERE WOULD BE

  • FUTURE PANDEMICS, WE HAD SET UP AN OFFICE WITHIN THE WHITE HOUSE

  • TO HAVE A PANDEMIC OFFICE.

  • THEY JUST DISREGARDED ALL OF IT, AND IT WAS CLEAR TO ME BY THAT

  • TIME THE PRESIDENT HAD NO SENSE, NO SENSE OF SCIENCE, NO SENSE OF

  • RESPONSIBILITY.

  • AND I JUST REALLY --T IT REALLY WORRIED ME THAT HE WAS BOTH

  • UNQUALIFIED AND INCOMPETENT TO DEAL WITH SOMETHING LIKE THIS.

  • IT'S NOT ANYTHING HE'S EVER DEALT WITH OR HAD ANY

  • INCLINATION TO DEAL WITH.

  • >> James: IF YOU WERE IN OFFICE RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD YOU

  • HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY AND WHAT WOULD YOU THE BE DOING

  • DIFFERENTLY RIGHT NOW?

  • >> WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I WOULD TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.

  • THIS PRESIDENT SAYS I HAVE NO RESPONSIBILITY, IT'S NOT MY

  • RESPONSIBILITY.

  • WELL WHO IN THE HELL IS IT IF IT'S NOT THE PRESIDENT OF THE

  • UNITED STATES' RESPONSIBILITY?

  • AND I WOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE AND I WOULD BE TRANSPARENT ABOUT WHAT

  • WE'RE DOING.

  • LOOK, IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE FIRST THING I -- AND I SUGGESTED

  • THIS A WHILE AGO -- WE SHOULD HAVE A SUPPLY COMMANDER, LIKE A

  • MILITARY PERSON WHO, IN A WAR, HAS CHARGE OF ALL TO HAVE ASSETS

  • THAT THE MILITARY NEEDS.

  • WELL, WE HAVE SOLDIERS IN THIS WAR, THEY'RE FIRST RESPONDERS,

  • THEY'RE DOCTORS, PEOPLE WHO ARE ON THE FRONT LINES, THEY'RE

  • NURSES, THEY'RE ALL THE PEOPLE WHO ARE STACKING GROCERY

  • SHELVES, ALL THESE INCREDIBLE PEOPLE, NUMBER ONE.

  • NUMBER TWO, I ARGUE THAT HE SHOULD USE WHAT THEY CALL THE

  • CREATE THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT THAT HE WOULD BE ABLE TO SAY

  • LIKE HE FINALLY DID WITH GENERAL MOTORS, I HAVE THE AUTHORITY

  • UNDER THIS ACT TO MAKE SURE YOU MAKE VENTILATORS FOR PEOPLE IN

  • HOSPITALS, WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH OF THEM.

  • HE SHOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING FOR THE INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • FOR TESTING, FOR GLOVES, FOR MASKS, FOR GOWNS, AND I WOULD

  • HAVE ESTABLISHED -- IF I WERE IN CONGRESS, I WOULD HAVE MOVED TO

  • ESTABLISH WHAT THEY CALL A PANDEMIC TESTING BOARD, LIKE

  • F.D.R. DID THE WAR PRODUCTION BOARD, TO MAKE SURE WE GOT ALL

  • THIS DONE, AN OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR ObamaCare.

  • PEOPLE ARE SCARED TO DEATH, AND HE'S TRYING TO GET RID OF THE

  • ONLY HEALTHCARE SYSTEM WE HAVE OUT THERE OTHER THAN MEDICARE,

  • MEDICAID, AND, I MEAN, FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE INSURANCE.

  • AND I WOULD COLLECT MORE DATA.

  • WE HAVE TO COLLECT HARD DATA ON THE DISPROPORTION TO MINORITIES,

  • AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND LATINOS.

  • I WOULD BE DOING THAT AND MOST ANYONE ELSE WOULD BE DOING THAT.

  • >> James: WHY DO YOU THINK HE ISN'T?

  • >> BECAUSE HE DOESN'T WANT TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.

  • HE DOESN'T WANT ANY RESPONSIBILITY.

  • I THINK HE'S IN A SITUATION WHERE -- IF YOU LISTEN TO HIS

  • PRESS BRIEFINGS, WHAT'S HE DO?

  • IT'S ALL ABOUT HIM.

  • IT'S NOT ABOUT US OR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

  • HE TALKS ACT THE GOVERNORS SHOULD THANK HIM FOR WHAT HE'S

  • DONE.

  • WELL, WHAT THE HELL DOES HE THINK HIS JOB IS?

  • PEOPLE SHOULD UNDERSTAND HE KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING.

  • HE INITIALLY SAID THIS WAS GOING TO GO AWAY IN WARM WEATHER.

  • FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT IN WORLD WAR II SAID, LOOK, THE AMERICAN

  • PEOPLE -- I'M PARAPHRASING -- CAN HANDING ANYTHING, BUT YOU'VE

  • GOT TO TELL THEM THE TRUTH, AND HE DOESN'T TELL THEM THE TRUTH.

  • THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HE SHOULD BE DOING.

  • >> James: YOU MENTIONED HIS PRESS BRIEFINGS THERE.

  • HOW FRUSTRATING IS IT FOR YOU AS THE PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE TO BE IN

  • QUARANTINE IN YOUR BASEMENT ON ZOOM CALLS, WHILE THE PRESIDENT

  • IS GETTING TO DO THESE -- WE'RE CALLING THEM PRESS BRIEFINGS BUT

  • OFTENTIMES THEY FEEL LIKE CAMPAIGN RALLIES -- HOW

  • FRUSTRATING IS IT FOR YOU IN YOUR BASEMENT, WATCHING THE

  • PRESIDENT DO THIS FOR TWO HOURS EVERY DAY?

  • >> WELL, THE FRUSTRATION IS HE'S LEAVING SO MANY PEOPLE BEHIND.

  • LOOK AT ALL THE FIRST RESPONDERS, LOOK AT ALL THE

  • PEOPLE WHO ARE PUTTING THEMSELVES IN HARM'S WAY, I MEAN

  • LITERALLY, THEY'RE RISKING THEIR LIVES AND SOME ARE LOSING THEIR

  • LIVES.

  • YOU HAVE A SON-IN-LAW, MY DAUGHTER'S HUSBAND IS A SURGEON

  • UP IN PHILADELPHIA, HE TALKS ABOUT HOW NURSES COME IN AND,

  • YOU KNOW, THEY'RE AFRAID TO GO HOME, THEY DON'T WANT TO

  • COMMUNICATE ANY VIRUS THAT THEY MAY HAVE.

  • THEY TALK ABOUT THE DOCS WHO ARE GOING IN AND DYING IN OTHER

  • PARTS OF THE -- I MEAN, WHAT I FOCUS ON IS LOOK AT THE DAMAGE

  • BEING DONE TO SO MANY FAMILIES THAT WOULDN'T HAVE TO BE DONE IF

  • WE HAD JUST TAKEN ACTION AND PREPARED, OR EVEN IF HE DIDN'T

  • KNOW HOW TO PREPARE, IF, ONCE IT BECAME CLEAR TO HIM, IF HE

  • STOPPED SLOW-MOTION EVERYTHING -- EVERYTHING WITH

  • HIM IS SLOW MOTION, NOTHING IS WE'VE GOT TO MOVE QUICKLY,

  • QUICKLY PROVIDE ALL THIS -- ALL THIS GEAR FOR PEOPLE, THE

  • TESTING MATERIALS.

  • I MEAN, THERE'S SO MUCH WE COULD DO TO CHANGE THIS, AND WHAT I

  • GET FRUSTRATED ABOUT IS WHEN I LOOK AT HIM UP THERE GOING

  • THROUGH HIS ANTICS ABOUT HIM, IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT HIM, IS WHAT

  • ALL THE PEOPLE WHO ARE GETTING HURT AND SOME WHO ARE DYING.

  • I REALLY MEAN IT.

  • >> James: NOW, THERE IS A FEELING SOUTHERN STATES --

  • GEORGIA,TONTOP, SOUTH CAROLINA -- TENNESSEE,

  • SOUTH CAROLINA -- HAVE ANNOUNCED PLANS TO EASE SHELTERING IN

  • PLACE.

  • FEELS LIKE AERIES ARIC.

  • WOULD -- FEELS LIKE A RISK.

  • WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THAT?

  • DO YOU THINK IT'S A RISK TO START EASING THESE SHELTER IN

  • PLACES?

  • >> LOOK, WE HAD A FALSE CHOICE BEING MADE BETWEEN THE PUBLIC

  • HEALTH AND ECONOMY, IT'S A FALSE CHOICE.

  • NUMBER ONE, EVEN BY HIS OWN PEOPLE, WHEN HE SET OUT HIS

  • GUIDELINES, WE HAVE TO GET THE NUMBER OF NEW CASES DOWN

  • SIGNIFICANTLY, AND WE HAVE TO CONTINUE SOCIAL DISTANCING, AND

  • WE HAVE TO IMPLEMENT HIS POWER TO GET ALL THIS MATERIAL THAT WE

  • NEED TO DEAL WITH THIS AND TO HAVE A SUPPLY COMMANDER.

  • YOU KNOW, WE NEED WIDESPREAD, AVAILABLE TESTING.

  • WE DON'T HAVE THE ELEMENTS TO DO THAT.

  • IT'S WITHIN HIS POWER TO INSIST THAT IT BE TONE.

  • WE HAVE TO ENSURE HOSPITALS ARE READY IF THERE'S A FLAREUP

  • AGAIN, AND MAKING SURE THEY NOT ONLY HAVE WHAT THEY NEED FOR

  • NOW, BUT WHAT HAPPENS IF IT FLARES UP AGAIN?

  • ARE THERE ENOUGH P.P.E.s AND MATERIAL TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE

  • GOING TO BE SAFE?

  • >> James: YEAH.

  • I MEAN, WE HAVE THE CAPACITY TO DO THIS.

  • WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH SWABS.

  • WHY IN GOD'S NAME ARE WE SHORT ON SWABS IF HE HAS THE POWER TO

  • TURN AND SAY I NEED YOU TO MAKE ME 50 MILLION SWABS.

  • HE HAS THE AUTHORITY UNDER THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT TO GO TO

  • THE COMPANIES THAT HAVE THAT CAPACITY.

  • WHAT IS WRONG WITH DOING THAT?

  • WHAT IS HE WORRIED ABOUT?

  • HE HAS THE POWER.

  • HE SAYS HE'S A WARTIME COMMANDER.

  • ACT LIKE A WARTIME COMMANDER.

  • GIVE YOUR TROOPS, THE DOCTORS, THE NURSES, THE FIRST

  • RESPONDERS, THE HOSPITALS, GIVE THEM THE AMMUNITION THEY NEED TO

  • DEAL WITH THIS, NOT ONLY TO PROTECT THEMSELVES, BUT TO END

  • THIS, TO MOVE US A PLACE WHERE WE CAN, IN FACT, OPEN UP AND

  • OPEN UP SAFELY.

  • THERE'S NO EXCUSE, IN MY VIEW.

  • >> James: PEOPLE EVERYWHERE ARE TERRIFIED AT THE MOMENT,

  • PEOPLE ARE LOSING JOBS AND WORRIED ABOUT HOW THEY'RE GOING

  • TO FEED THEIR FAMILIES.

  • WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO ARE FEELING SCARED

  • AND THEY'RE FEELING NERVOUS AND THEY'RE FEELING ANXIOUS AT THE

  • MOMENT?

  • >> LOOK, I'VE TALKED ABOUT THE SOUL OF AMERICA, WHEN I RAN FOR

  • OFFICE, AND WE'RE NOW SEEING, EVERY DAY, THAT SOUL OF

  • AMERICA -- NURSES, DOCTORS, FIREFIGHTERS, POLICE OFFICERS,

  • TEACHERS -- THESE ARE REAL HEROES, AND THE PRESIDENT -- BUT

  • WITH THE PRESIDENT, IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT HIM.

  • IT'S NOT ABOUT HIM.

  • IT'S ABOUT US.

  • IT'S ABOUT THESE PEOPLE.

  • IT'S ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING THE GREAT THINGS FOR US.

  • THINK OF ALL THE PEOPLE THAT YOU COULD SAY THANK YOU TO AND, YOU

  • KNOW, I'M GOING TO SOUND LIKE THE UGLY AMERICAN HERE, BUT I'M

  • SO PROUD OF THE COUNTRY.

  • THE COUNTRY IS STANDING UP, PEOPLE ARE MAKING REAL

  • SACRIFICES, THEY'RE REACHING OUT TO THEIR FRIENDS AND PEOPLE THEY

  • DON'T EVEN KNOW.

  • I DON'T KNOW A SINGLE COP OR SINGLE FIRST RESPONDER OR

  • FIREFIGHTER THAT WHEN THERE'S A CRASH IN AN AUTOMOBILE DOESN'T

  • JUST GO IN AND TRY TO PULL THE PERSON OUT AND RESCUE THEM,

  • PERIOD OR PUT THEM IN THE BACK OF AN AMBULANCE AND GET THEM TO

  • A HOSPITAL, WHATEVER THE EMERGENCY IS, WITHOUT WORRYING

  • ABOUT WHETHER THEY'RE BLACK, WHITE, RICH OR POOR, THEY'RE

  • JUST IN TROUBLE AND THEY KNOW THEY'RE RISKING THEIR LIVES

  • DOING IT.

  • BUT THINK OF ALL THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF ACTS OF BRAVERY AND

  • DECENCY GOING ON?

  • WE SHOULD CELEBRATE THESE PEOPLE.

  • BY THE WAY, WHEN THIS IS OVER, WE BETTER DAMN WELL NOT FORGET

  • THEM, BECAUSE WHAT'S HAPPENED IS THIS AND THE WAY TRUMP HAS

  • HANDLED THIS IS WE'RE TAKING THE BLINDERS OFF.

  • ALL OF A SUDDEN WE REALIZE THERE ARE A LOT OF INCREDIBLE PEOPLE

  • OUT THERE MAKING SIX, SEVEN BUCKS AN HOUR MAKING SURE WE

  • CONTINUE TO BE ABLE TO EAT, HAVE ELECTRICITY, WE CONTINUE TO BE

  • ABLE TO HAVE OUR WAY OF, EVEN WHEN WE'RE IN QUARANTINE, THAT

  • WE'RE ABLE TO BE TAKEN CARE OF.

  • I'M SORRY, BUT I JUST THINK -- THIS FRUSTRATES ME SO MUCH

  • BECAUSE I'M SO PROUD OF WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE DOING, AND

  • THE PRESIDENT -- MY IMPRESSION IS HE DOESN'T HAVE A LOT A SENSE

  • OF EMPATHY.

  • >> James: BUT YOU DO, AND THAT - DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOU AND THE

  • CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, BUT EMPATHY, I BELIEVE,

  • IS AN IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE, AND THERE WILL BE FAMILIES WATCHING

  • THIS WHO AREN'T SCARED ABOUT NEXT WEEK, THEY'RE SCARED ABOUT

  • TOMORROW.

  • THEY'RE SCARED ABOUT THE DAY AFTER THAT.

  • >> YEAH IS THAT WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM TO CALM THEIR FEARS

  • NOW?

  • >> WE'RE GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS.

  • IT IS REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HARD AND DIFFICULT FOR SOME, AND

  • FOR SOME IT IS HEART WRENCHING.

  • SOME HAVE LOST THEIR SON, DAUGHTER, HUSBAND, WIFE, THEIR

  • MOM OR THEIR DAD, AND I JUST KNOW THAT -- IN A DIFFERENT

  • CIRCUMSTANCE, I WAS GOING THROUGH SIMILAR LOSSES, THE

  • PEOPLE WHO MADE THE DIFFERENCE TO ME WERE PEOPLE WHO I KNEW HAD