Joe Biden said Tuesday that wearing a mask in public to combat the spread of the coronavirus is a sign of leadership and called President Donald Trump a “fool” who was “stoking deaths” for suggesting otherwise.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s comments came a day after he wore a black face mask while making his first public appearance in more than two months. Biden has remained at his Delaware home amid a pandemic that has frozen the presidential campaign, but he marked Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a nearby veterans’ memorial with his wife, Jill.
Trump later retweeted a post that appeared to make fun of a photo of Biden in his mask, though he later said he didn’t mean to be critical. In an interview with CNN, Biden responded, “He’s a fool, an absolute fool, to talk that way.”
Community Interviews with Moose FM
Story continues below advertisement
“He’s supposed to lead by example,” Biden said. The former vice president also noted that nearly 100,000 Americans have been killed by the virus and suggested that as many as half of those deaths were avoidable but for Trump’s “lack of attention and ego.”
Federal officials have recommended that people cover their nose and mouth in public when other measures,