Joe Biden claimed he could potentially close the United States again to fight the coronavirus pandemic if elected president.
The newly confirmed Democratic presidential candidate said he would take advice from scientists to "save lives" when he criticized President Trump for focusing on the economy rather than "working to fix the virus."
He criticized the current administration as a "fundamental mistake" of not believing that the coronavirus outbreak needed to be pushed back before the country could get back online.
Biden made the comments in an exclusive interview with ABC news anchor David Muir, which will air in full on Sunday.
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In an interview with ABC News, Joe Biden said he would close the country again if scientists indicated the need to fight the coronavirus if he was elected president
"I'll be ready to do whatever I can to save lives because we can't get the country moving until we have the virus under control," Biden said during his first interview with his runner-up Senator Kamala Harris since he was born was officially nominated.
“That is the fundamental flaw in the thinking of this government. In order to keep the country going and the economy growing and the workers busy, one has to fix the virus and deal with the virus.
& # 39; I would turn it off; I would listen to the scientists, ”he added.
The interview was conducted just hours after Biden accepted the Democratic nomination in a 25-minute speech at the National Convention in which he claimed Trump "shrouded America in darkness" and blown his treatment of the outbreak.
"Our current president has not fulfilled his most basic duty to this nation," said Biden. & # 39; He didn't protect us. He couldn't protect America. And, my fellow Americans, that is unforgivable. & # 39;
Trump hit back Thursday morning, stating that where Biden saw "darkness" he saw "American greatness".
Biden led the polls and Republicans will be looking to next week's Republican Congress to give Trump a dip.
The latest RealClearPolitics national polls average has Biden 7.4 points ahead of Trump and slight leads in several battlefield states that are a key to victory in the electoral college.
Biden's surge in polls in recent weeks has been attributed to voter unhappiness over Trump's handling of the pandemic. Some believe this affected his chances of re-election.
The former Vice President's campaign focused on the changes he would make to fight the virus, including mask mandates and improved testing.
However, on the previous Friday, President Mike Pence had targeted those who criticized the government's coronavirus response, claiming the country's economic recovery would be jeopardized in the election of Biden.
Trump hit Biden's criticism of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic Friday morning, saying that where Biden sees "darkness" he sees "American greatness".
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. topped 5,600,100 on Friday afternoon. Pictured is a Los Angeles patient being transported from the Los Angeles hospital in July
"So many speeches at the National Democratic Congress have been so negative," Pence said this morning on CBS. & # 39; You presented such a grim vision for America.
Joe Biden said last night that democracy is on the ballot, that character on the ballot. Economy is on the ballot, ”Pence added, greeting him an economic recovery whose "only real threat" was a Biden presidency.
& # 39; We have lost 22 million jobs in the wake of this coronavirus pandemic. But because of the solid foundation that President Trump has built with less taxes, less regulation, more American energy, more free and fair trade, we've seen 9 million Americans go back to work, ”Pence added.
The vice president too said the RNC will focus next week on what Trump has achieved, including the economy and its coronavirus response.
Pence pledged a strong focus on law and order support for the GOP, saying Democrats had not recognized the violence in some US cities.
"We're going to make sure the American people see the election here," said Pence.
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. topped 5,600,100 with 174,761 deaths as of Friday afternoon.
Deaths across the country have plateaued in the past three weeks, with an average of 1,000 Americans killing each day. The average number of deaths on Thursday was 1,027.
However, the number of cases has been falling steadily for a month.
The average number of COVID-19 cases across the country per day was around 46,000 as of Thursday, the lowest level in two months.
The current daily average is well below the record high of 77,000 cases reported in a single day in mid-July.
Deaths are a lagging indicator and can potentially increase for several weeks after new cases decrease.
The current daily death rate, while still high, is still below the level seen in April when an average of 2,000 people per day died from COVID-19.
"Hopefully this week and next week the death rate will really go down," CDC director Robert Redfield said Thursday in an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association.
He said it was a direct result of mitigation measures, including wearing masks and closing bars.
Redfield said the delay between deaths and positive tests can often take weeks for the effects of these measures to show up in daily numbers.
"It is important to understand that there will be a delay in these interventions, that delay will be three to four weeks," he said.