Joe Biden says he'll 'listen to the scientists' and shut down country again if needed


Democratic nominee Joe Biden said that as president he would be prepared to shut the United States down again to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus if that is what the scientists recommended.

“I would shut it down. I would listen to the scientists,” Biden told “ABC World News Tonight” anchor David Muir in a clip released Friday ahead of a full interview to be aired Sunday.

Biden said he was “prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus.”

“That is the fundamental flaw of this administration’s thinking to begin with,” the presidential candidate continued. “In order to keep the country running and moving and the economy growing and people employed, you have to fix the virus, you have to deal with the virus.”

Check out Biden’s comments here:

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, continues to face widespread criticism for his administration’s disastrous handling of the public health crisis.

Trump downplayed the risk of COVID-19 for months as cases surged worldwide. He later pushed for the premature easing of lockdown restrictions in a bid to boost the economy ahead of the 2020 election.

The president has also hyped unproven treatments for the disease and sent mixed messages on the need to wear masks to prevent its spread.

The virus has now killed more than 170,000 people nationwide.

In other preview clips of the interview, both Biden and Harris criticized and dismissed Trump’s recent attacks on Harris. The president has called Harris “nasty” and a “madwoman” and also leaned into a racist birther conspiracy theory about her.

“I think that there is so much about what comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth that is designed to distract the American people from what he is doing every day,” Harris said of Trump’s insults. “That is about neglect, negligence and harm to the American people.”

“No president has ever used those words,” added Biden.

Related: Joe Biden in 2020